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PSC approves Evergy MEEIA programs 

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — The Public Service Commission (PSC) approved Empire District Electric Company’s first round of programs under Missouri’s clean energy investment policies Wednesday. 

Empire applied in September to implement its first programs under the Missouri Energy Efficiency Investment Act (MEEIA) throughout the 2022 calendar year. Proposed initiatives include a low-income family energy savings program, an HVAC rebate, and incentives for small businesses to install energy-efficient technology. 

The application was approved during Wednesday’s agenda meeting, though Commissioners Scott Rupp and Jason Holsman said they had concerns about the company seeking a one-year program rather than a long-term commitment. Representatives for Empire said it planned to base future multi-year initiatives off of the initial program period. 

The commission also set a hearing for Jan. 8 to consider Empire’s request to alter its Fuel Adjustment Clause (FAC) allowing it to defer certain costs that would otherwise be passed along to customers. Empire seeks to defer the financial impact of Winter Storm Uri, while other utility providers are extending their recovery periods over the next three years to mitigate the immediate impact on customers. 

Evergy Missouri West sought to implement a higher rate for a data center in Kansas City using more energy than the average consumer. The PSC set hearings for late December-February to meet Evergy’s target implementation date of March 31. 

Additionally, Evergy Missouri Metro was authorized to alter its MEEIA programs. The new tariff sheets take into account Evergy’s Evaluation, Measurement, and Verification (EM&V) — assessments of the performance of energy efficiency initiatives — that the company received after its initial MEEIA filing was approved. 

The PSC granted Confluence Rivers Utility Operating Company a certificate of convenience and necessity (CCN) to purchase and operate a series of water and sewer systems in Benton, Pettis, Platt, Camden, and Clay counties. Commission Staff recommended the commission approve the application, noting the current owners had compliance issues with the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and Confluence Rivers was qualified to take over service in those areas.

Ameren Missouri was approved to sell a portion of its transmission line to the Wabash Valley Power Association. The segment is part of a commission-approved agreement between Wabash Valley, Ameren Missouri, and Ameren Transmission Company of Illinois (ATXI) to construct a second line, making the current section operated by Ameren Missouri obsolete. The commission approved the transaction after Staff issued a recommendation in its favor this month.

The next PSC agenda meeting is scheduled for Dec. 22. Chairman Ryan Silvey said the commission’s final scheduled agenda hearing of the year, set for Dec. 29, may be canceled due to the impending holidays.