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PSC extends Spire’s coronavirus assistance program 

  

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — Missouri’s Public Service Commission (PSC) extended a COVID-19 relief program from Spire Missouri for an additional month. 

Spire’s COVID-19 residential assistance program, which was set to expire May 31, was extended through the end of June. The program allows eligible customers to receive a match of up to $300 from the company in paying past-due bills if they join the program and comply with its terms. The opportunity became available to customers in November

The PSC granted the extension during Wednesday’s agenda meeting, noting the need for expedited treatment since Spire’s request came shortly before the program was set to expire. 

The commission denied Spire’s request to dismiss a pair of complaints from its natural gas providers. The providers alleged Spire had failed to comply with their tariff agreements following February’s cold snap, while Spire moved to dismiss the complaints due to a failure to state a relief claim. The commission approved the complaints to move forward, saying the issues fell within the PSC’s jurisdiction.  

The commission set procedural schedules for a pair of rate cases concerning Ameren Missouri. Ameren requested rate adjustments for its electric and gas services, and several parties — including the Sierra Club, Renew Missouri, and the Office of Public Counsel (OPC) — moved to intervene. A schedule proposed by the parties was approved, setting hearings and conferences through the end of next February. 

Evergy Missouri Metro requested approval for transportation electrification pilot programs, including an expansion to its Clean Charge Network, in December. The commission’s Staff filed to consolidate the disparate cases and various interested parties filed to intervene in the case. A procedural schedule was set through the end of November. 

Empire District Electric Company’s request to defer overcollections incurred over the course of the cold weather event was denied last week, with the commission ordering Empire to submit a proposed procedural schedule to further consider the issue. Empire made a motion for reconsideration and filed a substitute tariff alongside OPC, which opposed the initial proposal. The PSC approved the new version based on clarifications in the tariffs. 

The next PSC agenda meeting is scheduled for June 2. Last week was the first in-person agenda meeting for the commission in more than a year, with two members convening in the Governor Office Building. Commissioners again dialed in for this week’s meeting.