The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

February 25, 2013

Missouri Public Service Commission to act on Empire rate increase of 4.7 percent

From staff reports

JOPLIN, Mo. — An agreement has been reached with the Office of the Public Counsel, the Missouri Public Service Commission (MPSC) staff and intervening parties that would allow the Empire District Electric Company, based in Joplin, to increase its annual revenue base by about $27.5 million.

Before the agreement can take affect, it must be approved by the Missouri Public Service Commission.  

With a reduction in fuel adjustment clause revenue of about $8.6 million, the net increase to customers is about $18.9 million or approximately 4.7 percent, according to a statement released by the company.

For a residential customer using 1,000 kilowatt hours per month, the net impact will translate into an increase of about $5.60 per month. The rates, if approved by the commission, would take effect on April 1.

Empire, when it filed for a rate increase in July of last year, had sought an increase in annual electric revenues of approximately $30.7 million. Included in that request was an interim rate increase request of approximately $6.2 million. The interim request was denied by the commission.

Kevin Kelly, spokesman for the commission, said Empire reached an agreement with the parties in the case that resolves all issues associated with request to increase rates.

In an on-the-record proceeding today, the commission learned that all parties are signatories to the agreement.

Kelly said it is possible the commission could act on the agreement during its next meeting on Wednesday.

Kelly said the Office of the Public Counsel and the MPSC staff, which must balance the interests of rate payers and share holders, had recommended a lower increase than what was originally sought by Empire.

Public hearings on the rate request were held in January.