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Bill Allowing Electric Rate Changes Tied To Infrastructure Passes Mo. Sen. Committee

Veronique LaCapra/St. Louis Public Radio

A Missouri Senate energy committee has advanced legislation that would let power companies seek permission for an infrastructure surcharge.

Under legislation approved by the committee with two dissenting votes Wednesday, power companies could seek to levy the surcharge between formal rate cases.

Utilities could seek a surcharge no more than twice per year and would need to file a rate case every three years with the Public Service Commission. To be eligible, projects must replace, extend or add infrastructure and already be in service. It could not be applied to newly built or acquired generating plants.

Supporters of allowing the surcharge contend it would help utilities invest in infrastructure improvements and would create jobs. Opponents say it would make it easier to raise electric rates.