The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO


February 11, 2010

<img src="" border=0> The Empire District Electric Company announces change to Its board of directors

JOPLIN, Mo.-- Mr. D. Randy Laney, chairman of the board of directors for The Empire District Electric Company, today announced that Mr. Allan Thoms will retire from the board of directors on April 29, 2010. Mr. James Sullivan has been nominated to fill the board vacancy and will stand for election at the Company’s annual meeting of stockholders in April.

In making the announcement, Mr. Laney stated, “We appreciate the valuable counsel that Allan has contributed during his time with the board. His vast knowledge of the regulatory sector has been of immense assistance.” Laney continued, “We welcome Jim and look forward to working with him as we move forward. His expertise will be of great value to our board.”

Mr. Thoms of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, is Principal of Allan Thoms Consulting, LLC providing regulatory advocacy services. He was formerly a vice president for Verizon Communications. He served as chairman of the Iowa Utilities Board from 1995 to 2001 and, for several years, held various executive positions for the State of Iowa. He has also served on the board, executive committee, and as treasurer of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners. He was first elected to the Board in 2004.

Mr. Sullivan is an independent consultant, advising energy clients on regulatory and strategic issues. He was a member on the Alabama Public Service Commission from 1983 until 2008 where he served as president. He has held various leadership roles with the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners, as well as with the Electric Power Research Institute, the Institute of Nuclear Power Operations, and the National Regulatory Research Institute. Mr. Sullivan is a member of the Alabama State Bar.

Mr. Sullivan holds a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in Banking and Finance, from the University of Mississippi, and a Master’s degree in Banking and Finance and a Juris Doctorate from the University of Alabama.

Based in Joplin, Missouri, The Empire District Electric Company (NYSE:EDE) is an investor-owned utility providing electric, natural gas (through its wholly owned subsidiary The Empire District Gas Company), and water service, with approximately 215,000 customers in Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, and Arkansas.

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