In a proposal rejected by the state Public Service Commission (PSC), Missouri Gas Energy wanted to raise a fixed monthly charge from $28.10 to $40.95 during the coldest winter months and drop it to $26.88 in warmer months.
AARP and other consumer advocates challenged the plan, saying it would provide little incentive for conservation and would make small households using less energy pay proportionately more. The fee is the same for all residential customers and is added to the cost of natural gas used.
“This rate design falls heavily on customers in small homes, including many retirees on fixed incomes,” said Norma Collins, AARP advocacy director.
Under a settlement approved by the PSC, the price of gas used could go up, but the fixed charge will be lowered to $23. Some customers may see a modest reduction in their monthly bills.