Category: Other Consumer Issues

Protest over Jefferson Bank merger yields new branches

Illinois-based First Mid Bank & Trust has agreed to operational improvements, including making small business loan subsidies and establishing branches in underserved areas, in response to criticism that threatened to derail its proposed merger with Jefferson Bank and Trust. Advocacy groups, including St. Louis Equal Housing and Community Reinvestment Alliance (SLEHCRA) and Woodstock Institute, last year complained to the Federal Reserve Bank of redlining and low levels of servi ...

Ameren rates will be going up. The question is: Who will pay, and how much?

The state authorized Ameren last month to raise rates enough to boost revenue by nearly 9% or about $220 million a year. The parties discussed at a hearing on Thursday how to divide the costs between residential and industrial customers. “It’s just a matter of how do you split the pie,” said John Coffman, a lawyer who advocates on utility issues for the Consumers Council of Missouri, describing the case ahead of the hearing. “That’s the one main issue that has not been ...

Missouri regulators, worried Spire is stoking fear, order the company to write letter to customers

The PSC’s motion Thursday said that Spire's recent messaging to its regional customers — including emails and letters sent with bills — “appear to reflect an attempt by Spire to mobilize public opinion, through fear, in order to potentially pressure federal authorities" “We have heard a lot of fearmongering lately, much of it coming from Spire, itself, that residents of St. Louis are going to lose their natural gas service this winter,” FERC Chairman Richard Glick said at the meeti ...

Utility rates could increase for more than 1 million Missouri customers next year

Low-income households, particularly in communities of color, spend a greater share of their income on utilities, according to several research studies. A report from the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy, for instance, found Black households spend 43% more on energy costs than white households. “Why does the bottom line have to affect people of low income the most? The cost is rolling directly down to consumers from low-income, predominantly Black and brown commun ...

Ameren Missouri has requested a rate increase! Register today for a virtual public hearing to make public comments on how it would impact you!

According to Ameren Missouri: The adjustment in base rates would mean electric rates for an average residential electric customer (based on approximately 1,029 kilowatt-hours of usage per month) would increase by approximately $12 a month. The adjustment in base rates would mean natural gas rates would increase for an average residential customer by approximately $4 a month.   To attend the local public hearing by telephone, at the time of the hearing, call toll- ...

Missouri panel rejects moratorium on utility shutoffs during pandemic

EFFERSON CITY — The state Public Service Commission has rejected an effort to prevent utility companies from disconnecting residential services during the COVID-19 pandemic, the commission said in a statement Wednesday. The Consumers Council of Missouri, which advocates on behalf of consumer interests, had requested an emergency order for a moratorium on disconnections through at least March 31. But the commission determined it didn't have the authority to grant the council's ...

PSC Sets Local Public Hearing Schedule in Missouri-American Water Company Rate Cases

The Missouri Public Service Commission will hold virtual local public hearings in January to receive customer comment in water and sewer rate cases filed by the Missouri-American Water Company (MAWC). Because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, these local public hearings will be conducted virtually by WebEx and telephone conference. They will be streamed live on the Commission’s website (psc.mo.gov). read more ...

Missouri has some of the laxest laws in the country regarding predatory lending

Missouri has some of the laxest laws in the country regarding predatory lending. As the power of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is continually threatened, our state refuses every year to adopt modest regulations. Cities have no choice but to take matters into their own hands to protect citizens from spiraling and crushing debt. Our executive director joins faith leaders in weighing in on municipal reforms this week in the Springfield News Leader. ...

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