Guess who coming to dinner?
My old friend Ameren was in the news this past Friday, announcing a third-quarter profit of $285 million, revenue remained flat at a mere $2.27 billion for the quarter that ended September 30. The sad story is that the profit was gained at the expense of its 2.4 million electric customers and 1 million natural gas customers. Ameren was granted a rate increase earlier this year, thankfully not as much as they had requested or their profits would really be over the top.
“Third quarter core earnings were strong, driven by warmer-than-normal weather and continued disciplined cost management,” Chairman, President and CEO Thomas Voss said in the earnings release.
One of the "disciplined cost management" maneuvers that was attempted by Ameren but rejected by regulators was their attempt to eliminate customer rebates on energy-saving items such as insulation, weather stripping and water heaters.
If you are an investor it would be my guess that Ameren would be the place you would want your money, but as a consumer it really hurts, especially when I am pretty sure Ameren will take some of their 'hard earned' profits and use it to convince Missouri legislators that they should pass a program where rate-payers should fund their proposed nuclear facility.
I don't know how you stop these people...these people who control the cash game at this poker table. But as a no-choice consumer of their product I begrudge every damn cent that I have to pay them and believe me I use as little of their product as humanly possible. My light switches and flipped on and off with every move in and out of a room. When the winter brings a chill to the air I bundle up rather than turn on the heat until I absolutely have too.
I think it is good to conserve and when I think of Ameren's ever growing waistline I feel I am doing their heart a favor by limiting their intake. Oh, wow, did I just infer that Ameren had a heart? Sorry, I take that back - they are all stomach, no room for a heart here.