LETTER: Rate hike hurts Ameren customers

By Nancy Dietrich-Rybicki

I am writing in response to the positive spin Ryan Davis gave to Ameren IP’s potential 40 percent rate hike in his Wednesday article “Power rate hike to hit college in ’07.” There is nothing positive for consumers about this 40 percent rate hike.

According to his article, “under the new law (which would take place in January), consumers would have access to hourly, market-based prices and could alter their behavior to accommodate surges in the cost of electricity.” The article fails to point out that Ameren’s profits over the last 10 years, during the rate freeze, have doubled. The article also talks about “market-based prices,” but what other electric companies do we actually have to choose from? None. So there is no free market from which consumers can make real choices.

I am happy to hear that State Representative Naomi Jakobsson is co-sponsoring HB 5766, which would extend the current rate freeze for at least 3 years. There is no reason, other than pure greed, for a 40 percent rate hike when Ameren is already making huge profits.