Governor Mike Parson announced a $750,000 interest-free loan to the city of Hannibal to ease the impact of excessive wholesale electricity and natural gas costs associated with the February 2021 extreme weather event. The loan was made possible through the Municipal Utility Emergency Loan Program.
“The Municipal Utility Emergency Loan Program provides municipal utilities and commissions the opportunity to recover from the high costs associated with the extraordinary cold snap we experienced in February,” Governor Parson said. “We were happy to create this program that has aided our cities and towns and helped Missourians avoid excessive month-over-month utility bill increases. This $750,000 emergency loan to the city of Hannibal will lessen the financial impacts for the city and its residents. “
The loan program was established when Governor Parson signed legislation on May 13, 2021, to provide $50 million for interest-free emergency loans. The program is administered by the Missouri Department of Natural Resources Division of Energy and serves municipal electric and natural gas utilities, as well as municipal utility commissions, by providing loans for wholesale electric or natural gas costs incurred as a result of extraordinary prices from February 10-20, 2021. Approximately 53 municipalities have applied individually or through municipal utility commissions since the department began accepting applications on June 2.
When the unusual cold snap occurred in February of this year, prices for wholesale natural gas and electricity rose as demand increased and production stopped at some facilities in the United States. These increased prices severely impacted Missouri communities.
“We’re honored to be able to assist Missouri utilities that experienced unprecedented energy prices earlier this year,” said Dru Buntin, Director of the Department of Natural Resources. “The priority has been to meet the needs of our communities and provide financial stability for municipal utilities and their customers. We are grateful to the Governor for acting so quickly to work with the legislature to secure funding.”
The combined amount requested in applications to date totals approximately $41 million. Funding is still available. To learn more about the Municipal Utility Emergency Loan Program, contact Daniel Dahler with the Missouri Department of Natural Resources at 800-361-4827 or 573-522-3371.