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PSC approves Evergy West fee change

  

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — Missouri’s Public Service Commission (PSC) approved a Fuel Adjustment Charge (FAC) change to allow Evergy Missouri West to offset under-recovered costs this week.

Evergy West submitted its true-up FAC filing, proposing changes to its current charges to compensate for under-recovering more than $765,000 from customers between September 2019 and August 2020. Evergy requested that the change take effect on March 1. 

The commission approved the charge increase on an interim basis subject to review during this week’s agenda meeting. 

Evergy, the commission, and the Office of the Public Counsel (OPC) also enacted a stipulation and agreement to resolve issues surrounding the company’s FAC prudence review. The agreement requires Evergy to model its plans for excess capacity sales and provide the commission with documentation on their projections going forward. 

Evergy Metro requested a waiver from a commission rule mandating biannual tariff filing. Under the rule, utilities must file standardized rates for facilities at 100 kilowatts capacity on Jan. 15 every odd-numbered year, a date the company said it had missed due to an unintentional oversight. The commission and its Staff found good cause for the waiver, noting they would consider the company’s filing at a later date.

Ameren Transmission Company of Illinois (ATXI) filed for a certificate of convenience and necessity (CCN) with the commission in December to operate a switchyard in Schuyler County to connect a wind facility to a transmission line. Commission Staff recommended the CCN’s approval, noting the commission had approved similar requests from the company in the past. The commission approved the order based on Staff’s recommendation. 

The PSC ended Liberty Utilities’ actual cost adjustment (ACA) for 2018 through 2019. Commission Staff recommended the closing of the balance following a final audit, noting that Liberty had substantially over-collected funds in its Kirksville and Southeast Missouri regions, recommending closer attention to the issue in future filings. The commission agreed to end the balance based on Staff’s findings effective in March.

A similar order was issued for the Empire District Gas Company this week. The commission opted to close its 2018-2019 Purchased Gas Adjustment and ACA balances after Staff carried adjustments leftover from the period in question to the following year’s balance. 

Mercury Wireless Kansas, which serves various states across the Midwest, applied to expand its existing Eligible Telecommunications Carrier (ETC) designation to build additional broadband facilities in rural Missouri. Mercury recently received a federal Rural Digital Opportunity Fund (RDOF) grant, requiring it to expand its services in certain areas. The commission granted the application, noting Mercury fit the criteria needed to expand its designation.

The commission denied the Missouri Propane Gas Association’s (MPGA) request to intervene in considerations of Spire Missouri’s request for a general gas service rate increase. MPGA stated it represented customers who might be impacted by the rate change and objected on market competition grounds. The application was filed after the due date for intervention and did not include a reason for the delay, so the commission rejected the filing.

The next PSC agenda meeting is scheduled for Feb. 17. Commissioners said they would continue meeting remotely for the foreseeable future.