Jefferson City, MO — Consumer Energy Alliance (CEA) Midwest Director Chris Ventura testified before the Missouri Senate Commerce, Consumer Protection, Energy and the Environment Committee in support of Senate Bill 564 and the importance of improving and modernizing Missouri’s energy grid. Below are excerpts from his testimony:
“CEA is a national association with more than 450,000 individual members – over 11,000 reside here in Missouri – as well as energy consumers, and producers working to advance an all-of-the-above energy policy. Here at CEA, we have been advocating for affordable, reliable energy and sensible regulatory solutions in Missouri and across the country for more than a decade.
“Nothing is more important to us than ensuring energy consumers – especially those struggling to make ends meet – are treated fairly during these policy discussions. With this in mind, we believe it is time Missouri joined 46 other states which have moved forward with policies to allow improvements to our energy grid.
“For some, energy policy can be complex and at times hard to understand. What is not complex, however, is the fact that Missouri families, households, and small businesses could lose $1.6 billion in savings and benefits unless their General Assembly moves ahead with grid modernization legislation this year. Passage of this bill will support the economy and provide Missourians with never before seen rate caps in the range of 3% — that’s a huge win for consumers and people on fixed incomes!
“Modernizing our energy grid is about taking care of families and businesses struggling to make ends meet. Energy grids in states across our country are in a massive transition toward smart, stable and more secure energy. The benefits of this transition are immense. As the grid is modernized, power flows bi-directionally versus the traditional one-way power flow. This integrated grid will be more reliable, prevent or reduce power outages and give people and businesses access to the latest consumer technologies to manage their energy usage.
“The Missouri Grocers Association estimated that if grid modernization with a 3 percent cap on rate increases were passed, the five-year savings for a typical family over the status quo in Missouri would be $850. For a locally owned grocery store, that would translate into $25,000 in savings and $170,000 in savings for a large retail store over five years. That is real, life-changing money that could be reinvested in communities, schools, employee health care, or money for a family to simply afford to go out to eat or buy new clothes for school.
“The inability to update our 100-year-old energy policies has an unintended consequence of causing energy cost spikes in Missouri. The simple fact is that Missouri has historically been a low-cost energy state. But, due in part to outdated regulations, energy costs here have risen four times faster than the national average since 2007. In fact, our energy costs in Missouri have risen faster than all but three other states. Despite this trend and a more than century-old energy policy, the good news is that energy costs here were historically low because we still have a narrowing cost advantage. But, it’s critical that we find a way to bend the cost curve in order to modernize our energy grid.
”We ask you for your support for Senate Bill 564 in order to ensure our energy grid is modernized and strong pro-consumer policies are put in place.”
About Consumer Energy Alliance
Consumer Energy Alliance (CEA) brings together families, farmers, small businesses, distributors, producers and manufacturers to support America’s energy future. With more than 450,000 members nationwide, our mission is to help ensure stable prices and energy security for households across the country. We believe energy development is something that touches everyone in our nation, and thus it is necessary for all of us to actively engage in the conversation about how we develop our diverse energy resources and energy’s importance to the economy. Learn more at ConsumerEnergyAlliance.org.