Court of Appeals Issues Energy Efficiency Programs Decision

On January 15, 2013, the Missouri Western District Court of Appeals handed down its opinion affirming several Missouri Public Service Commission rulemaking orders, which were issued to implement the landmark 2009 Missouri Energy Efficiency Investment Act (MEEIA).  MEEIA was enacted to encourage investor-owned electric utilities to provide energy efficiency programs to assist customers with reducing electricity usage in order to better manage this expense.  The Commission’s rules were challenged on a number of grounds.  Among other things, the Court concluded that the Commission had correctly determined that a utility’s revenue loss caused by suppressed demand for electricity attributable to such programs was a recoverable cost of service.  The Court also concluded that a utility’s program expenses could be recovered as a stand-alone item outside of the context of a general rate case proceeding in order to more quickly make utilities financially whole.  Each of these conclusions, the Court stated, was reasonably implied as being in furtherance of the legislative objective to encourage utilities to make comprehensive, cost-effective energy efficiency programs available throughout the state.

Brydon, Swearengen & England P.C., shareholder Paul A. Boudreau represented Ameren Missouri throughout this matter in proceedings before the Commission, the Circuit Court of Cole County and the Court of Appeals. The case is State ex rel. Ameren Missouri v. Public Service Commission, Case No. WD74849 (consolidated with WD74676).