The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

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July 6, 2012

Empire District to seek rate increase

JOPLIN, Mo. — The Empire District Electric Co. announced today that it will seek a 5.3 percent rate increase to recover costs of $30.7 million associated with the May 22, 2011 tornado and other operational issues.

The total cost will be offset by an $8.6 million base rate adjustment for fuel and purchased power in response to lowering costs for natural gas.

That will leave a customer impact of $22.1 million. For a residential customer using 1,000 kilowatt-hours of electricity a month, the 5.3 percent hike would translate into a monthly increase of $6.60.

The Missouri Public Service Commission recently approved a request filed by the company, which is based in Joplin, to lower the fuel adjustment charge (FAC) on the bills of its electric customers. That lowered the bill of a residential customer using 1,000 kilowatt-hours of electricity a month by approximately $6 a month.

That change took effect on June 1 to reflect a reduction in Empire’s fuel and purchased power costs for a six-month period from September 2011 through February 2012.

The new rate case will be reviewed by the commission after public hearings are held in Joplin and at Reed Springs. It usually takes 11 months before final action takes place on a request to increase rates. 

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