The Missouri Public Service Commission (PSC) has authorized the Empire District Electric Cooperative to raise its electric rates by about 13.4 percent effective Sept. 10.
Authorization for Empire to collect higher revenues came with the finding that Empire's new Plum Point Generating Station at Osceola, Ark., met all in-service criteria and could be put into use. Empire had until Aug. 15 to meet requirements for the new station.
"The new rates will allow us to begin recovery of the costs associated with the environmental upgrades at Iatan 1 and the new Plum Point Generating Station," said Bill Gipson, Empire president and chief executive officer. "These additions will allow us to continue to provide reliable service to our customers with a balanced mix of resources using the least cost options."
|The PSC order granted Empire authorization to raise rates for an annual increase in revenues of approximately $46.8 million, or about 13.4 percent. For a residential customer using 1,000 kilowatt hours per month, rates will increase about $13 a month.|
The increase will affect retail Empire customers in Pierce City, Freistatt, Verona and Purdy. Monett buys electricity wholesale from Empire and is currently negotiating a new contract.
"The Public Service Commission is pleased that the state-of-the-art Plum Point power plant is now providing service to Empire's customers," said Robert M. Clayton III, chairman of the PSC. "This facility has the most advanced equipment available to meet all required environmental regulations."
Construction delays have prompted Empire to postpone its request to recover the costs related to the new Iatan 2 generating unit. Empire had sought to include its request with the filing of the Plum Point station and now plans to file a rate change request in September.
Empire District Electric Company is an investor-owned utility providing electric, natural gas and water service with approximately 215,000 customers in Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma and Arkansas.