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PSC approves Spire gas line project


JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — Missouri’s Public Service Commission (PSC) approved a request from Spire Missouri to install a gas distribution line in Cass County during Wednesday’s agenda meeting. 

The PSC approved a certificate of convenience and necessity (CCN) for Spire to install and operate the natural gas distribution line as an expansion of the company’s service area. The expansion would be a two-part project, extending service to customers in an industrial park as well as commercial customers. The commission approved the request, stipulating that they would retain rate-making authority and that the company must continue to file updated tariff sheets going forward. 

The PSC approved another application from Spire requesting authority to use a new annual depreciation rate of 5 percent for smart meters, which communicate energy use data to consumers more efficiently than standard meters. The company said in its application that the depreciation rate would apply to the meters themselves as well as their installation based on their 20-year service life. 

Spire also filed an update to its weather normalization adjustment rider (WNAR) to adjust revenue for the difference between expected temperatures and actual temperatures over the summer. Commission Staff found that Spire had experienced warmer temperatures than normal in its two rate districts, which would lead to a slight bill increase for customers. The Commission approved the company’s replacement sheets to adjust rates for customers. 

Evergy Missouri Metro requested approval for true-up amounts for its fuel adjustment clause (FAC). The company found it had over-collected almost $2 million from customers between April 2019 and May 2020 and submitted adjusted filings with the commission to reflect the overcharge. The company also submitted adjusted rates for fuel and energy costs, which the PSC approved. 

Ameren Missouri also submitted true-up filings and adjustment rate changes for commission approval. The company found an under-recovery of more than $300,000 to be collected from customers. Commission Staff approved the company’s numbers and suggested their approval which the commission granted.  

Additionally, the PSC considered a request for intervention in a case involving the Missouri-American Water Company. The Boone County Regional Sewer District filed an application to intervene in the company’s pursuit of a CCN to acquire the Hallsville sewer system. The district contended the acquisition would have a negative effect on its business and the area it serves. The commission granted the request for intervention on the grounds that it will lead to additional information to guide further consideration of the case. 

The commission also opened a working case on itself to consider altering its rules on electric, gas, and water quality standards. The PSC is collecting comments on its current standards from stakeholders through November. 

The next PSC agenda meeting is scheduled for Sept. 23. Commissioners said they will continue to meet remotely for the foreseeable future due to COVID-19.     

EDITOR’S NOTE: For up-to-date information on coronavirus, check with the CDC and DHSS.