Energy Savings Could Cost on Missouri Bills

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Some Missouri residents and businesses could soon see a new charge on their electric bills for using less energy. The new energy efficiency charge has support from utilities, most lawmakers, the governor, environmentalists and even the state's official utility consumer advocate.

The charge covers the cost of utilities' efforts to promote energy efficiency and cut power use. The assumption is that the charge would cost less than paying to build new power plants if more electricity use is needed.

Legislation pending before Gov. Jay Nixon would set the criteria for state utility regulators to approve the energy-savings charges. If he signs the bill, the new law would take effect Aug. 28.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)