From CBS Money Watch:
(AP)  ST. LOUIS — Customers of Ameren Missouri would see their average monthly electric bills rise about $14 under a rate increase proposal filed Friday with the Missouri Public Service Commission.
Ameren Missouri asked regulators to raise electric rates by $376 million, or 14.6 percent. Company leaders said the increase necessary to pay for work to reduce outages, infrastructure upgrades and environmental improvements, as well as to offset higher fuel costs. A consumer group said the increase would create a hardship for many struggling Missouri families.
The PSC could take up to 11 months to review the request. Ameren Missouri serves customers in the St. Louis region and parts of eastern, central and southern Missouri.
Warner Baxter, chairman, president and chief executive officer for St. Louis-based Ameren Missouri, said the utility has spent $3.2 billion since 2007 to upgrade an aging infrastructure, including millions on a tree-trimming program to help prevent outages. Air pollution near power plants is being reduced.
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