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PSC grants financing authority to Spire


JEFFERSON CITY, MO. — Missouri’s Public Service Commission (PSC) granted Spire Missouri financing authority over loans — with conditions. 

The commission considered recommendations from the Office of Public Counsel (OPC) on the company’s request for financing authority over $750 million in loans and bonds through Sept. 30, 2023. The company had requested the authority as an extension of a 2018 commission decision that allowed them authority over $500 million. Spire’s application said it would put these funds toward service, facilities, and refunds per commission rules. 

Commission Staff recommended a set of 11 conditions, including maximums on loans to be defined by the commission, reporting procedures for unpaid balances, and the filing of credit agency reports with Staff and the OPC. The commission approved the company for authority over $660 million with Staff’s conditions attached. 

The commission also covered Spire’s 2017-2018 Actual Cost Adjustment (ACA) filing during Wednesday’s agenda meeting. Staff had previously found issues with information in the filing but had not been allowed to proceed in its assessment and recommendations since a file on the previous year’s reports was being considered for similar issues at the time. The commission reviewed recommendations by Staff and approved the filings for the 2017-2018 report as adjusted, closing the file on the case. 

The PSC also opened a case file on damages to a gas main owned by Spire. The main was damaged at the beginning of the month by a contractor who reported that Spire had not marked the main despite a request from the contractor in late May for the locations of utility lines in the area. The commission directed a report to be filed on the incident within 180 days. 

Additionally, the commission closed a case on Virgin Mobile’s participation in the Lifeline program. The company had violated the requirement to begin the de-enrollment of customers in the program after consumers failed to use the service for 30 days yet still received the monthly service fees, as noted by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). The company filed status reports on refunds to customers over the past three months, and the PSC agreed to close the investigation with the stipulation that Virgin Mobile must continue to file reports regarding the FCC’s involvement in the matter. 

Finally, the commission granted an order to approve a unanimous stipulation and agreement on Ameren Missouri’s application for tariff revisions and a report on the company’s smart meter plans. The order approves Ameren’s tariff filing and designated how the company will go about disconnects, extensions, outreach to customers, and reporting to the commission. 

The next PSC agenda meeting is scheduled for Aug. 5. Agenda meetings will remain remote for the foreseeable future, according to commissioners.