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PSC denies AARP intervention in Evergy case

  

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — Missouri’s Public Service Commission (PSC) denied a request from AARP to intervene in an Evergy Missouri investigation. 

The company was approached by Elliott Management, an investment firm, with suggestions on ways to maximize value for the company’s stakeholders earlier this year. Both parties subsequently submitted an investment plan with the PSC for consideration. AARP filed a request to intervene in the proceeding case, arguing the company could raise rates for customers, many of which are AARP members themselves, through its investments.

The commission voted to deny the request for intervention during Thursday’s agenda meeting, saying the case was a fact-finding investigation only.

Commissioners granted a protective order for information included in Ameren Missouri’s triannual Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) filing. Ameren requested the order to shield sensitive information from the Sierra Club, which the company accused of mishandling private information in the past. The commission found the request reasonable, saying Ameren had presented adequate evidence that the protected information could be harmful if mishandled. 

The PSC approved a revision to Ameren’s Technical Resource Manual (TRM). The new version included results from its 2019 Evaluation Measurement and Verification (EMV) program in addition to changes based on feedback from the company’s evaluation contractor and the teams implementing the program. Commission Staff found no issues with the updates and recommended its approval.

Spire Missouri was ordered to submit revised tariff sheets lining up with a new stipulation and agreement approved by the commission Thursday. The company was approved to make changes to its infrastructure system replacement surcharge to recover revenue lost over the summer due to COVID-19. Based on a recommendation from Staff, the commission rejected sheets filed by the company in August and requested the submission of an updated version reflecting new revenue projections.

Spire’s cost adjustment filing for its East and West Operating Units was met with criticism from a number of entities over data related to its St. Louis pipeline. The objectors, including the Office of Public Counsel (OPC) and the Environmental Defense Fund, said costs associated with the pipeline were imprudent to the filing and were not applicable to the company’s claims. The commission approved the sheets on an interim basis, ordering Spire to file a response to the complaint by the end of the month.

The PSC approved Summit Natural Gas’ new tariff sheets which reflected changes to the company’s Regular Purchased Gas Adjustment (PGA) factor. The company made adjustments based on expected changes to the cost of natural gas, and Staff suggested recommending the changes on an interim basis subject to refund.

The next agenda meeting is scheduled for Nov. 18. Commissioners said meetings would continue to be held virtually for the foreseeable future due to COVID-19.