EVERGY GETS APPROVAL FOR RATE INCREASE
Evergy has been given approval for an electric rate increase for an area that includes its customers in Platte County.
The rate increase could amount to around $4 per month for many Evergy customers.
The Missouri Public Service Commission has approved tariffs filed by Evergy Missouri Metro, Inc. d/b/a Evergy Missouri Metro (EMM) and Evergy Missouri West, Inc. d/b/a Evergy Missouri West (EMW) which authorizes EMM an electric increase of approximately $25 million and EMW an electric rate increase of approximately $30 million.
The approved tariffs have an effective date of Jan. 9, 2023.
Evergy Missouri Metro (EMM) serves approximately 300,840 electric customers in the Missouri counties of Platte, Carroll, Cass, Chariton, Clay, Howard, Jackson, Johnson, Lafayette, Livingston, Pettis, Randolph and Saline.
The commission concluded, based upon its review of the record, that the rates approved as a result of the order in this case support the provision of safe and adequate service.
“The revenue requirement authorized by the commission is no more than what is sufficient to keep EMM’s and EMW’s utility plant in proper repair for effective public service and provide to Evergy’s investors an opportunity to earn a reasonable return upon funds invested,” said the commission.
According to the Public Service Commission staff, a residential customer using approximately 1,000 kWh (kilowatt-hours) a month will see electric rates increase by approximately $3.75 a month for an EMM residential customer and by approximately $4.50 a month for an EMW residential customer.
When EMM and EMW (Evergy) filed electric rate cases with the Missouri Public Service Commission on Jan. 7, 2022, EMM sought an electric rate increase of approximately $47.0 million. EMW sought an electric rate increase of approximately $59.8 million.
Evergy stated when it filed its rate requests that the most significant driver of the rate increase request was focused infrastructure improvement aimed at enhancing reliability. According to Evergy, the rate increase also sought to address customer interest in cleaner energy sources and offering more choices in electric rate options.
Tariffs approved by the Public Service Commission in these rate cases will expand Time of Use (TOU) rates for Evergy residential customers. As a result of the current rate cases, Evergy residential customers are scheduled to go to Evergy’s new default TOU rates under a phased-in implementation from Oct. 1, 2023, through Dec. 31, 2023, unless they select an optional TOU rate before that time. The time prior to Oct. 1, 2023, has been ordered as a lead-in time for customer education and outreach.
TOU rates charge different prices for kWh of energy based upon when a customer uses it which typically means a lower per kWh rate for usage during off-peak hours and a higher per KWh rate for usage during on-peak hours. The various TOU rate plans offer larger and smaller differences in these pricing periods. Shifting some electricity usage to off-peak hours can help a customer lower their monthly electric bill.
The commission has opened a new case (EW-2023-0199) for a collaborative workshop for customer education and outreach regarding the introduction of default TOU rates by EMM and EMW.
As part of this case, the commission approved four agreements by parties which resolved a number of issues. Under the agreements, Evergy will proceed with the Office of the Public Counsel’s proposed Critical Needs Program and the Office of the Public Counsel’s Rehousing Pilot Program. The Critical Needs Program will be funded through a 50/50 sharing of costs between ratepayers and shareholders for a minimum of three years at a total of $600,000 per year (or $300,000 per utility).
The Rehousing Pilot Program will be funded by a 50/50 sharing of costs between ratepayers and shareholders for a minimum of three years at a total of $500,000 per year (or $250,000 per utility).
Also under the agreements approved by the Commission, Evergy will continue with the existing income-eligible weatherization tariff with no changes to annual budgets (Evergy Metro-$573,888 and Evergy West-$500,000). The agreements also provide for a Solar Subscription Pilot Tariff; a Low-Income Solar Subscription Pilot; and a Residential Battery Energy Storage Pilot Program.