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This Week in the PSC: Week of July 10, 2019


JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — The Public Service Commission (PSC) approved a myriad of orders at its weekly agenda meeting, with the majority of which pertaining to Ameren or Missouri-American Water Company (MAWC). 

The PSC unanimously approved a variance request from Ameren Missouri regarding certain promotional practices so it could compete with Cuivre River Electric Cooperative, which is unregulated, to bring electrical services to a subdivision in Flint Hill. The order will go into effect on July 20. 

The commission also approved a notice regarding Ameren Missouri’s Renewable Energy Standard Compliance Report for 2018 and its plan for 2019. With no deficiencies found with either, the notice stated the PSC did not need to take any further action in relation to the report and plan. 

Certain Ameren Missouri’s revised tariff sheets were approved by the commission as well that will go into effect later this month. According to the commission’s order, the “revised tariff sheets are intended to make the previously approved Rider Economic Development Incentive and Economic Development and Redevelopment Rider more attractive to customers.” 

MAWC’s request for certificates of convenience and necessity (CCN) for a sewer system in Callaway County subdivision was granted. The approved CCN and acquisition of the subdivision association’s sewer system means MAWC will be providing service to an estimated 43 customers in the Hillers Creek subdivision and institutes a $58.13 monthly residential flat rate — an increase that homeowners were made of aware of but still approved. 

The PSC approved a reconciliation from MAWC that states both the commission and the Office of Public Counsel have been made aware of the reconciliation amount and are in agreement regarding the dollar value of a contested issue. However, the PSC also denied MAWC’s application for a rehearing in the same case. 

Additionally, the PSC approved Liberty Utilities’ acquisition of the franchise and operating assets, including customers, of Franklin County Water Company. The commission said the company must maintain the existing rates for Franklin County. 

The Franklin County company services about 189 single-family residential customers near St. Clair. 

“Liberty Utilities now serves approximately 3,300 water customers in Missouri. Liberty Utilities’ greater size and its ability to gain access to the financial resources necessary to maintain or improve service will benefit customers currently served by the much smaller Franklin County,” the PSC said in its order. 

After some discussion of the policy changes Empire District Electric Company is implementing, the commission accepted staff’s audit report reviewing Empire’s fuel adjustment clause in a 4-1 vote. The report found no evidence of imprudence by Empire from September 2016 to February 2018. Commissioner Scott Rupp was the lone dissenter. 

The PSC also approved a notice ordering Rex Deffenderfer Enterprises, Inc. doing business as RDE Water Company to respond to outstanding data requests by July 30. Failure to comply could result in civil penalties, the commission noted. 

The PSC rounded out its weekly meeting with a presentation from MAWC on its lead service replacement program. The next meeting is scheduled for July 17 at 9:30 a.m.