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PSC greenlights Evergy’s plans for its energy efficiency programs

   

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — A modified version of Evergy Missouri’s plans for energy-efficient programs got the green light from the Public Service Commission (PSC) this week. 

Commissioners unanimously approved the Missouri Energy Efficiency Investment Act (MEEIA) Cycle 3 proposal, which included a three-year plan for specific demand-side programs and a six-year plan for an income-eligible multi-family program, at its weekly agenda meeting Wednesday. 

The proposal also included a “Pay As You Save (PAYS)” pilot program which allows utility companies to invest in certain efficiency upgrades through the customer’s side of the meter and use a tariff charge on the bill to recover costs.

“Customers want more ways to manage their energy and save money. The goal for our MEEIA programs is to offer more innovative and personalized energy efficiency products that give customers more choices that are right for them,” Chuck Caisley, Evergy’s chief customer officer, said in a statement. 

Renew Missouri Executive Director James Owen applauded the approved order, specifically the inclusion of the PAYS program. 

“Consumer groups and environmental groups rarely agree, but there’s been a concerted effort to get PAYS off the ground,” Owens said. “Now, there’s a chance for customers to save money in a way many people have never seen. This could change the business model for utilities for years to come.” 

Evergy will need to submit tariffs that are in compliance with the approved order by Dec. 16 in order to implement the MEEIA Cycle 3. Commissioners also noted the MEEIA is voluntary. 

During Wednesday’s meeting, the PSC denied a request from Spire Missouri for a rehearing regarding its infrastructure system replacement surcharge changes case. The order also denied the request for a rehearing from the Office of Public Counsel.

Commissioners also agreed to open a working case regarding a proposed residential customer disconnection data reporting rule from the Office of Public Counsel. The rule would require all of Missouri’s investor-owned electric, natural gas, water, sewer, and steam heating utility companies to submit monthly reports to the PSC regarding residential service disconnections. 

Stakeholders can submit written comments by Feb. 14.

Additionally: 

  • The PSC dismissed a complaint brought by a St. Louis woman against Spire Missouri who alleged she was being charged for natural gas she did not use. Pointing to more than a dozen non-insulated windows and other factors, commissioners said they could not side with the woman. 
  • Commissioners approved a compliance tariff sheet filed by Missouri-American Water Company regarding its infrastructure system replacement surcharge change request. 
  • The PSC unanimously approved Ameren Missouri’s tariff sheet for its renewable energy standard rate adjustment mechanism (RESRAM) with an effective date of Feb. 1. Commissioners noted residential customers using about 1,000 kilowatts per month would see an increase of about $0.44 on their bill. 

Commissioners also set three public hearings for Empire District Electric Company’s rate case. The hearings are scheduled as: 

  • Feb. 3 at 12 p.m. in Bolivar
  • Feb. 3 at 6 p.m. in Joplin
  • Feb. 4 at 12 p.m. in Branson

The next PSC agenda meeting is scheduled for Dec. 17.