JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Gov. Jay Nixon has signed legislation allowing utilities to charge customers for energy-savings programs.
State utility regulators already have allowed some utilities to factor the cost of their energy savings initiatives into the basic rates they charge customers.
The legislation signed Monday specifically allows utilities to recoup their costs for such programs and requires them to be listed as a separate line-item on electric bills.
Some utility officials and consumer advocates say the new law ultimately should save people money. That's because the energy-savings programs are intended to prevent or delay the need for new power plants, which would be more costly for customers to finance.
"Missourians spend approximately $20 billion each year on all of our energy needs and import nearly 95 percent of the primary energy sources we use. By becoming more energy efficient and reducing our expenditures on energy, we keep more of these energy dollars in Missouri’s economy and in Missourians' pockets," said Gov. Nixon in a statement.