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PSC approves intervention in Empire transportation electrification case


JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — Missouri’s Public Service Commission (PSC) approved an application to intervene in its consideration of a proposal from the Empire District Electric Company.

Empire requested approval of a five-year pilot term for a portfolio of transportation electrification programs meant to increase the use of electric technology and bolster the grid. Ameren Missouri applied to intervene in the PSC’s consideration, stating the commission’s decision in the case could affect similar programs in development at Ameren. The commission approved the intervention during Wednesday’s agenda meeting, finding good cause for its participation. 

Evergy Missouri Metro and Evergy Missouri West requested approval of similar pilot programs in addition to a variance from commission rules, approval to expand its Clean Charge Network, and the authority to defer program costs as a regulatory asset. The commission suspended both branches’ tariff sheets to allow more time for consideration.

The commission set a procedural schedule to settle a dispute over Evergy’s involvement in the Missouri Energy Efficiency Investment Act (MEEIA). Commission Staff recommended adjustments as part of its prudence review, and a partial stipulation and agreement was approved after settlement discussions with Evergy. Hearings and briefs were scheduled from April through June to resolve lingering disputes. 

Spire Missouri’s proposed revisions to its Weather Normalization Adjustment Rider (WNAR), which adjusts revenues to reflect the differences between actual heating degree days and normal heating degree days, was approved. Staff found customers received a credit rather than a charge on their WNAR bills during the winter months, and the PSC ordered Staff to investigate the error through a new case.

Liberty Utilities’ WNAR filing was also approved with no additional recommendations from Staff.

Ralls Technologies and Midwest Data Center were approved for designation as eligible telecommunications carriers. Both companies received the federal Rural Digital Opportunity Fund, requiring them to extend broadband service to rural areas. 

The next PSC agenda meeting is scheduled for March 24. The commission will continue to meet remotely for the foreseeable future.