Senate Majority Leader O’Laughlin criticizes Missouri Public Service Commission’s new electric rates

ELectric Power or Electricity (Photo by Andrey Metelev on Unsplash)
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(Missourinet) – Senate Majority Leader Cindy O’Laughlin, R-Shelbina, is unhappy that the Missouri Public Service Commission (PSC) is requiring private electric utility companies to move residential customers to time-based rates.

She criticizes Chairman Scott Rupp and states that utility companies have not requested this system. In a Facebook post from July, she says the plan quadruples rates during peak afternoon periods.


Cindy O'Laughlin Facebook Post


“The plan he has chosen, I believe, will come as a complete surprise to many customers who simply cannot afford such a rate hike. They won’t realize it’s happening until they receive the bill,” O’Laughlin says.

Under this plan, the cost to generate and deliver electricity will be higher between 4 p.m. and 8 p.m. During these times, customer rates will also be higher. When costs are lower, customer rates will decrease.

O’Laughlin describes it as a politically based decision that could have ramifications in January 2024 if the Senate is not convinced that the PSC is fulfilling its appointed role.

“It doesn’t necessarily have to end the way they think it will,” O’Laughlin says. “If the Public Service Commission doesn’t either indefinitely suspend this order or completely reverse it, then when we reconvene, we’ll introduce legislation to rein them in.”

PSC Chair Scott Rupp argues that these rates help customers lower their monthly energy expenses.

The Senate Majority Leader tells Missourinet that she cannot understand the reasoning behind the idea.

“I think there’s a possibility it will harm many customers who can’t afford it. This includes low-income individuals, many working people who will be surprised when this happens, and senior citizens. I don’t like it, and the Minority Leader doesn’t like it either,” she says.

Rupp encourages customers to visit their utility’s website, where they can learn which new rate options are best for them and their individual households.

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Anthony Morabith

My previous jobs have taught me the importance of news. My last job I had the opportunity to run a news department in Alaska. There, I learned that people didn’t watch the television or read the newspaper, they only had access to the radio, in fact they depended on it for their daily living. Because news is so important when people still depend on broadcast radio, I learned the importance of reporting with accuracy, honesty and doing so without setting some sort of agenda.