This Week in the Missouri PSC: Sept. 12, 2018

   

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – Reconvening for a Wednesday afternoon agenda meeting, the Missouri Public Service Commission took up eight tariffs and new orders for action.

The first of these dealt with a motion filed by staff to relieve eligible telecommunications carriers of the requirement to file a copy of their FCC reports with the commission as well. The staff discovered an issue with the original change made back in July, and sought to address the issue by changing a paragraph in the commission’s order to fix it:

“2. The provision of Commission Rule 4 CSR 240-130(3)(B)2 which requires Eligible Telecommunications Carriers to file a copy of their Form 481 annual report is waived for 2018 for any ETC eligible to receive high-cost support.”

The motion carried with a 5-0 vote.

The second item on the docket concerned Ameren Missouri’s application for a CCN to construct a wind generation facility in northeast Missouri.

Ameren and staff filed a non-unanimous stipulation back in mid-August, to which the Office of Public Counsel, Missouri Department of Conservation and Missouri Industrial Energy Consumers all filed objections to.

On August 20, OPC filed a motion asking the commission to modify the procedural schedule to permit to allow staff and Ameren to file affidavits and additional testimony “to provide a factual basis as the foundation for their stipulation and agreement.”

“This is stupid,” Chairman Daniel Hall said after explaining the case before the commission. “No, there is no reason why we need to do so.”

He proceeded to explain that it was up to the parties – staff and Ameren – to decide whether to submit more testimony to defend their positions and stated he would vote to deny their motion. The commission voted 5-0 to throw the motion from OPC out with little debate needed.

The commission also approved an order allowing the tariff sheets submitted by Summit Natural Gas to become effective on Sept. 22, confirming that the language in the tariff granted Summit a CCN to provide service to a single property, as outlined in the appendix of the application. Spire had requested an amending of that language, saying that the language allowed a loophole in the instance of whether the property was ever subdivided. The commission said the language was in compliance and consistent with their order, and approved it 5-0.

The commission also approved a true-up for Ameren Missouri’s Recovery Period 25, in the amount of $674,816, which will be reflected in the rate adjustment. As for its tariff, the commission approved it, which is expected to result in a decrease of $0.35 per month for the typical residential customer.

The commission also approved Elm Hills Utility Operating Company, Inc. ’s request for a CCN to purchase and operate sewer systems in Johnson County at the existing developments known as Rainbow Acres, serving 46 existing customers, and Twin Oaks or The Preserve, which currently has approximately 53 customers. To provide service to the proposed areas, Elm Hills requested permission to purchase substantially all the sewer assets from the Rainbow Acres Homeowners Association and The Preserve Homeowners Association. The commission ruled that it was in the interest and granted the authority to acquire those assets, with the order carrying an effective date of Sept. 22.

The commission also gave their approval to allow Liberty Utilities’ agreement to require six water and sewer assets that had been wholly-owned subsidiaries of Ozark International. The order takes effect on Sept. 22

The PSC issued a final order of rulemaking regarding the applications for CCNs back in August, and in Wednesday’s agenda meeting, thy denied KCPL’s request for a rehearing regarding that rule, stating that the company hadn’t shown good cause for a rehearing.

The final order of the day dealt with KCPL’s true-up, showing an under-collection of almost $2 million. The requested tariff adjustment from KCPL would result in a $0.60 increase per month for residential customers.

Benjamin Peters is a reporter for the Missouri Times and Missouri Times Magazine, and also produces the #MoLeg Podcast. He joined the Missouri Times in 2016 after working as a sports editor and TV news producer in mid-Missouri. Benjamin is a graduate of Missouri State University in Springfield. To contact Benjamin, email benjamin@themissouritimes.com or follow him on Twitter @BenjaminDPeters.

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Benjamin Peters is a reporter for the Missouri Times and Missouri Times Magazine, and also produces the #MoLeg Podcast. He joined the Missouri Times in 2016 after working as a sports editor and TV news producer in mid-Missouri. Benjamin is a graduate of Missouri State University in Springfield. To contact Benjamin, email benjamin@themissouritimes.com or follow him on Twitter @BenjaminDPeters.