Empire District Electric Company has announced that it has filed a request with the Missouri Public Service Commission (MPSC) for changes in rates for its Missouri electric customers.
Empire is seeking an annual increase in revenues of approximately $68.17 million or about 19.6 percent. If approved, a residential customer using 1,000 kilowatt hours of electricity would experience a monthly increase of approximately $19.21. Empire also asked to continue its fuel adjustment surcharge that was approved in its last case.
"We are seeking new rates to begin recovery of the investment we have made or are making to our electric system," said Bill Gipson, president and chief executive officer. "These additions will allow Empire to continue to provide reliable service to its customers with a balanced mix of resources."
Gipson referred to environmental upgrades at Iatan Unit 1, new generating units at Iatan 2 and the Plum Point Generating Station, plus the annual operating costs associated with these units. The Iatan 1 environmental upgrades and the Iatan 2 addition are included in Empire's long-term and least-cost energy plan that was approved by the Missouri Public Service Commission in August 2005.
After filing its request with the Public Service Commission, Empire will undergo an extensive audit of its operations. A public hearing will follow, and an evidentiary hearing will be held. Empire anticipates that any new rates approved would not become effective until the fall of 2010.
Based in Joplin, Empire District Electric Company is an investor-owned, regulated utility providing electricity, natural gas and water service to approximately 215,000 customers in Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, and Arkansas. If approved, the rate change will impact Empire retail customers in Pierce City, Freistatt, Purdy and Verona. Monett buys electricity wholesale from Empire and would not be affected.