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PSC amends in-person education requirement amid coronavirus concerns

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — Missouri’s Public Service Commission (PSC) approved an amendment to its rules on in-person training in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Commission rules required manufactured home installers to attend certification classes every three years. Staff requested a waiver of the requirement beyond three years under extenuating circumstances. The commission approved the request — exempting installers from the requirement for an additional year — and sent the amendment to the secretary of state for publication. 

Kansas City Power and Light’s (KCP&L) request to modify a previous agreement and stipulation was also approved during Wednesday’s agenda meeting. The company asked the commission to extend its waiver of KCP&L’s benefit-cost studies and interim reports due to costs. The commission approved the company’s request, extending the deadline through 2024 in the interest of gathering more information on KCP&L’s participation in certain state programs. 

The PSC dismissed the Office of Public Counsel’s (OPC) motion to compel discovery in Confluence Rivers Utility Operating Company’s purchase of sewer and water assets from Terre Du Lac Utilities Corporation. OPC requested non-redacted filings from the Tennessee PSC which was also considering the case as the property crosses the states’ border. Commission Staff found no reason to require the uncensored documents since Tennessee and Missouri have different procedures, and the cases were essentially separate. 

OPC requested an extension of a hearing to gather additional information on Elm Hills Utility Operating Company’s rate increase request. The company, Staff, and OPC were ordered to submit a new procedural schedule by the end of October. 

The commission also approved tariff sheets establishing Liberty Utilities’ weather station change from Kirksville to Chillicothe. The sheets contained the company’s adjustments to its Weather Normalization Adjustment Rider (WNAR) based on the move. 

Evergy Metro’s request to strike testimony from OPC in an ongoing case was denied. The company requested authority over its COVID-19 losses in May, and OPC testified in opposition to the application. Evergy argued the testimony was without merit and missed the point of the case, but Staff suggested keeping the testimony on the books.   

The commission approved Empire District Electric Company’s request to allow customers to opt-out of an advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) upgrade. Customers will be able to opt-out of the meter’s two-way communication between the meter and the company at no additional charge.

Empire’s tariffs on its solar energy programs were also approved after review from the commission’s Staff. 

Middlefork Water Company’s acquisition of assets from the Nodaway County Public Water Supply District was approved under the condition that the companies inform the PSC of the transfer progress. 

The next PSC agenda meeting is set for Oct. 7. Commissioners said they will continue meeting remotely for the foreseeable future due to COVID-19. 

EDITOR’S NOTE: For up-to-date information on coronavirus, check with the CDC and DHSS.