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PSC finds compromise in KCPL rate case, still says they lack authority on EV stations


JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – Kansas City Power & Light will receive an electric rate increase thanks to a decision by the Missouri Public Service Commission on their rate request.

The PSC this week ruled that KCPL should receive a rate increase of $32.5 million to reflect their increased costs of providing service to more than 270,000 customers.

The commission’s decision maintains the company’s current authorized return on equity (ROE) of 9.5 percent.

“This rate of return will allow KCPL to compete in the capital market for the funds needed to maintain its financial health,” the Commission said, voting unanimously on the rate request.

KCPL’s request, put forward back in July 2016, had asked for $90.1 million and a ROE of 9.9 percent, saying that the increase was to be used to recover money they had spent on upgrading the company’s infrastructure, adding regional transmission lines, and complying with environmental and cybersecurity mandates.

The PSC staff estimates that the typical residential customer will see an increase of approximately $4.00 a month.

KCPL also asked for a continuation of the Fuel Adjustment Clause (FAC), which the commission granted. This allows KCPL to adjust their customer bills up to twice a year to reflect any increases or decreases in prudently incurred fuel and purchased power costs.

The commission also decided to allow KCPL to continue their Economic Relief Pilot Program, a low-income residential customer assistance program.

KCPL also requested recovery of costs to its Clean Charge Network, which is a network of electric vehicle charging stations in the Kansas City region. Staying true to their stance taken earlier this spring on the matter of electric vehicle charging stations, the PSC said they lacked the authority to regulate EV charging stations.

“The Commission finds that EV charging stations are not ‘electric plant’ as defined in the statute because they are not used for furnishing electricity for light, heat, or power,” the Commission stated. “EV charging stations are facilities that use specialized equipment, such as a specific cord and vehicle connector, to provide the service of charging a battery in an electric vehicle. The battery is the sole source of power to make the vehicle’s wheels turn, the heater and air conditioner operate, and the headlights shine light. The charging service is the product being sold, not the electricity used to power the charging system.”

Following the decision by the PSC, KCPL released the following statement.

“We are aware of the Missouri Public Service Commission’s Report and Order in the KCP&L Missouri rate case. We appreciate the consideration of our request. It is essential for the Company to recover its necessary infrastructure and equipment upgrade costs as well as recover those costs associated with federal and state regulation compliance so that KCP&L can continue providing customers with safe and reliable energy.”