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PSC approves slight decrease for Evergy ratepayers

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — Missouri’s Public Service Commission (PSC) approved Evergy Missouri’s request to slightly reduce customer bills based on its renewable energy rates. 

Commissioners approved an application from Evergy seeking to alter its Renewable Energy Standard Rate Adjustment Mechanism (RESRAM). Customers using 1,000 kilowatt-hours per month will see a 1 cent decrease in the charge on their bills when the change takes effect on Dec. 1. 

The PSC also approved a waiver for Ameren Missouri during Friday’s agenda meeting, exempting Ameren from commission rules governing Renewable Energy Credits (RECs). The PSC requires companies to retire RECs — which allows companies to invest in transitions to clean energy generation — within the calendar year of the retirement of coal-based energy plants. Ameren said the deadline would not allow it enough time to determine the total sale figure of its RECs and sought to avoid purchasing more credits than it needed. 

Spire Missouri was granted a certificate of convenience and necessity (CCN) to construct and operate a natural gas system in southern Buchanan County. The new development would allow Spire to extend its service to 24 new single-family lots. 

A previous stipulation and agreement on Spire’s request was approved by the commission in October, but the commission required an updated version after Staff noticed a section on contributions that appeared to conflict with Spire’s tariff rules. The adjustment was made and approved Friday with no stakeholders opposing the new agreement. 

The commission also approved an amended report and order in Spire’s general rate case. Spire filed a request in December seeking an average rate increase of $3.28 per month for each customer, allowing it to recoup $64 million in expenses and invest in environmental and customer-focused initiatives. 

The PSC required Spire to stop capitalizing on its non-operational overhead costs in the order — though commissioners said during last week’s agenda meeting they would continue allowing capitalization on energy plant additions that began before June 1. 

The commission also said it would not allow Spire to take the economic impact of February’s winter storms into account for its short-term debt structure — ultimately leaving more than $272 million in debt to calculate the company’s 13-month debt structure. 

The commission approved a new version Friday cementing the specifics of the order in writing in an attempt to assuage concerns raised by Spire and the Office of Public Counsel on the issues. Both parties applied for rehearing on the case, but the commission did not move on their requests this week.

The next PSC agenda meeting is scheduled for Nov. 17.