Comprehensive utilities bill will foster economic growth and energy grid modernization

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – The Missouri House of Representatives has passed a comprehensive utilities bill, reminiscent of the legislative utilities omnibus that garnered significant support last year. HB 1746, sponsored by State Rep. Michael O’Donnell, encompasses a range of provisions aimed at enhancing utility infrastructure and affordability across the state.

“This legislation tackles our state’s challenges head-on, addressing outdated infrastructure and the need for reliable and affordable energy. By promoting the expansion of affordable energy and streamlining processes for utilities, we’re not only enhancing energy resilience but also driving economic growth,” Rep. O’Donnell, R-St. Louis, said. “Additionally, the bill ensures that utility services remain affordable and accessible to all Missourians, setting the stage for a more equitable and prosperous future.”


The bill includes measures to support the expansion of reliable energy, streamline acquisition processes for small water utilities, and provide tax exemptions for ratepayers across Missouri. It also addresses issues related to infrastructure rate adjustments, gas customer discounts, and contracting authority for the Public Service Commission.


Here are some of the key provisions of HB 1746:

  • Solar Energy Assessment: The bill includes solar panels and related equipment in the definition of “tangible personal property” for property taxation purposes. It establishes a specific assessment rate of 5% of the true value for commercial solar photovoltaic energy systems constructed before August 9, 2022.
  • Depreciation of Real Property: Starting January 1, 2025, depreciation tables for tangible personal property will also be used for assessing real property used for transporting or storing certain liquid and gaseous products, excluding petroleum products.
  • Sales Tax Exemption: The bill exempts various items and services related to utilities from sales tax, including electrical energy, gas, water, coal, and certain equipment and materials used in generating and distributing electricity. This tax is passed through to ratepayers, who pay already pay taxes for the production of energy in their bills.
  • Compensation for Board of Trustees: Sets the rate of compensation for members of County and Sewer District Boards of Trustees, including attendance fees and reimbursement for expenses incurred while performing their duties.
  • Acquisition of Small Water Utilities: Expands the definition of “large water public utility” and streamlines the acquisition process for small water utilities with an appraised value of $5 million or less.
  • Renewable Energy Standards: Specifies requirements for electric utilities regarding renewable energy standards and the retirement of renewable energy certificates by accelerated renewable buyers.
  • Water and Sewer Infrastructure Rate Adjustment: Allows public utilities to file petitions with the Public Service Commission to establish or change rates for infrastructure projects associated with water and sewer systems.
  • Gas Customer Discounts: Adjusts the criteria for applying discounts to gas customers based on projected load and economic development incentives.
  • Contracting Authority of the Public Service Commission: Authorizes the Public Service Commission to contract necessary consultants for implementing provisions related to securitized utility tariff bonds.
  • Hydrant Valve Inspections: Changes the frequency of inspections for water hydrants from annually to a schedule agreed upon by relevant parties.


House Speaker Dean Plocher commended the collaboration that led to the bill’s passage, noting, “This legislation represents a significant step forward in ensuring that Missouri’s utilities remain affordable and accessible to all residents. I applaud the dedication of Rep. O’Donnell and his colleagues in crafting a comprehensive solution to address the diverse needs of our state’s utility landscape.”


The bill now heads to the Senate for further consideration.