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Ameren asks to raise rates 18 percent

By Bill Raack, KWMU

St. Louis, MO – AmerenUE wants to raise electric rates for Missouri customers by 18 percent.

The rate hike request, which is one of the largest the St. Louis-based utility has made in two decades, would mean an additional $180 a year for the average customer.

Ameren president Warner Baxter says the $400 million request is not related to the company's inability to get a legislative vote this year on a new nuclear reactor in mid-Missouri.

"This rate increase request is all about the investments that we've made for reliability and higher costs to deliver safe and reliable power," Baxter said.

The utility filed the request to state regulators today. It hopes for a decision by June of 2010.