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PSC approves Evergy Metro fuel charge decrease

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — Missouri’s Public Service Commission (PSC) approved a temporary decrease to Evergy Metro customers’ electric bills beginning next month. 

Evergy sought to adjust its Fuel Adjustment Charge (FAC), which allows utility companies to account for increases or decreases to the cost of fuel through adjustments outside of a full rate case, by 27 cents. The change will impact residential customers using 1,000 kilowatt-hours of electricity a month.

The commission approved Evergy’s application during this week’s agenda meeting. 

The PSC also ordered Evergy to revise its liability release and waiver for residential customers as part of a complaint case. 

A customer alleged Evergy’s non-standard metering service acknowledgment form — which allows customers to opt-out of standard metering — violated the company’s tariffs and commission rules, among other allegations. Evergy was ordered to update its forms to comply with commission rules by mid-January, and all other complaints were dismissed. 

Evidentiary hearings were set for April and May 2022 over the Empire District Electric Company’s rate case. Empire sought a $1.36 million increase to its base revenue based on market fluctuations between December 2019 and December 2020. The commission approved the 12-month basis for the revenue adjustment and ordered Empire to prepare documents and evidence for the hearings. 

Summit Natural Gas applied to change its Purchased Gas Adjustment (PGA) Rider to extend its recovery period beyond 12 months. Summit noted the wide range of financial impacts due to February’s storm and sought to avoid increasing customer prices by an extraordinary amount over a short period. The PSC approved Summit’s request after approving the same order for a bevy of other utility companies last week. 

Ameren Missouri was also approved to extend its cost recovery efforts from the cold snap for three years through its Actual Cost Adjustment (ACA) filing. The original ACA tariff was approved in March, but Ameren sought to further alter the agreement after seeing the full impact of the storm on the natural gas market. 

Finally, the commission appointed two members to the Relay Missouri Advisory Committee, which advises the PSC on the administration of Relay Missouri telephone accessibility services to those with hearing, vision, or speech impairments. Sarah Prechtel was appointed for a three-year term as the representative for the deaf position while Cathee Wolford was appointed as a permanent member of the committee. 

The next PSC agenda meeting is scheduled for Oct. 27.