KCC approves agreement lowering rates for Empire Electric customers

 

 

TOPEKA – Empire Electric customers will soon see a reduction in their monthly bills. A settlement agreement approved today by the Kansas Corporation Commission calls for a 3.8% rate decrease effective July 1, 2022.  This amounts to a bill reduction of $2.95 per month for residential customers with average usage.

The company, which serves 9688 customers in southeast Kansas, filed an application for a rate increase last May to recover costs related to building three new wind farms, retiring the Asbury coal plant and updating accumulated depreciation and deferred costs. The application called for an increase in rates totaling about $5.00 per month for residential customers.

The settlement, negotiated by KCC Staff, the Citizens Utility Ratepayer Board (CURB) and the company addressed all matters raised in the application except recovery of the wind farm costs. Questions were raised at the evidentiary hearing, held in March, regarding the need for the wind facilities and the cost. On May 6, Empire filed a motion to withdraw its request to recover the wind project costs in rates, with the option to seek recovery in a future general rate case. The Commission approved that motion as part of today’s order.

In issuing today’s order, the Commission found the agreement was supported by substantial competent evidence, will result in just and reasonable rates, and is in the public interest.

The order can be viewed here.

A recording of today’s Business Meeting featuring comments by Commissioners on this order is available on the KCC YouTube channel.

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