Empire Files for New Missouri Electric Rates

Empire announces scheduled maintenance in Columbus & Scammon, KS
Empire Electric.jpg

JOPLIN, MO – August 29, 2014 – The Empire District Electric Company (NYSE:EDE) announced today it has filed a request with the Missouri Public Service Commission (MPSC) for changes in rates for its Missouri electric customers. The Company is seeking an annual increase in base rate revenues of approximately $24.3 million, or about 5.5 percent. If approved by the MPSC, a residential customer using 1,000 kilowatt hours would see a monthly increase of about $9.87, which reflects the findings of a cost of service study.

The most significant factor driving the need for a rate increase is the cost associated with the installation of the Air Quality Control System (AQCS) at the Asbury Power Plant. Additional factors include increased operating costs, a new maintenance contract covering the Riverton 12 gas fired generating unit, the increase in Regional Transmission Organization charges and increases in property taxes.

In making the announcement, Brad Beecher, president and CEO, stated, “The AQCS we are installing at the Asbury Power Plant carries a cost of between $112 and $130 million and includes a scrubber, fabric filter, and powder activated carbon injection system. This will allow the plant to meet the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rules on air quality, namely the Mercury Air Toxic Standards.”

Beecher continued, “Several factors did allow us to hold down the size of our request. These include savings experienced through the Southwest Power Pool Integrated Marketplace that began March 1, 2014, lower debt cost and a reduction in expenses related to vegetation management. “

The Company is also asking to continue the use of the Fuel Adjustment Clause (FAC). The continuation of the FAC will allow the Company to adjust customers’ bills twice each year, on June 1 and December 1, based on the varying costs of fuel used to generate electricity at the Company’s generating units and electric energy the Company purchases on behalf of its customers.

After today’s filing, the MPSC will perform an audit of Empire’s operations, hold public hearings,and hold an evidentiary hearing.