FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE -- January 09, 2013
Contact: Kevin Kelly (573) 751-9300
Public Service Commission Issues Order In KCP&L-GMO Rate Case; Energy Efficiency Options Can Help Consumers Reduce Costs
JEFFERSON CITY---The Missouri Public Service Commission today granted an electric rate increase to KCP&L-Greater Missouri Operations Company (GMO) with the centerpiece of the decision aimed at empowering customers to control their energy costs.
The decision marks the Commission’s transition from an electric system based on load growth to one founded on energy efficiency and resources to help consumers themselves control utility costs.
In a 4-0 vote, the Commission allowed an increase of approximately $49 million, capped the company’s return-on-equity (ROE) at 9.7 percent and rejected any increases in the fixed charges on customers’ bills. The company had originally sought an $83.5 million increase, an ROE of 10.4 percent and an increase in the fixed charges for customers.
Unlike previous rate cases in which bills simply increased, PSC Chairman Kevin Gunn noted that this measure implemented incentives that customers could use to control and even offset increases.
“This is an important decision giving electric customers of KCP&L-GMO new tools under the Missouri Energy Efficiency Investment Act (MEEIA) to control their energy bills,” PSC Chairman Kevin Gunn said. “These energy efficiency programs are offered by the company through legislation lawmakers passed to increase energy efficiency and reduce customer costs.”
Chairman Gunn praised the Office of the Public Counsel, consumer groups, state lawmakers, the PSC staff and KCP&L-GMO for working together to reach consensus on the energy efficiency framework contained in SB 376, the Missouri Energy Efficiency Investment Act (MEEIA). This law, sponsored by Sen. Brad Lager, was passed by the Legislature and signed into law by Gov. Nixon in 2009 and implemented through a rulemaking completed by the PSC in February 2011.
Thirteen energy efficiency programs for residential customers of KCP&L –GMO include: Lighting and Appliance (incentives offered to encourage the use of efficient appliances, lighting and home electronics); Appliance Turn-In (retiring inefficient working refrigerators and freezers by providing an incentive to take the units out of homes and recycling them in an environmentally safe manner); Home Performance with ENERGY STAR® (intended to encourage residential customers to identify opportunities and implement energy efficiency measures in their homes. Rebates offered for qualifying improvements); ENERGY STAR® New Homes (encourages new home construction using ENERGY STAR® appliances and products); Cool Homes (have working central cooling systems evaluated and, if feasible, brought back to factory specifications or replace less efficient central cooling systems with high efficiency systems); and Low Income Weatherization (assist residential customers in reducing their energy usage by weatherizing the homes of qualifying customers).
As part of this rate case, the Commission approved an agreement to continue the Economic Relief Pilot Program (ERPP) which is designed to help low-income customers with their electric bills.
The PSC staff estimates that the impact of the rate increase on a residential customer using 1,150 kWh (kilowatt-hours) in the summer and 760 kWh in the winter will be about $5.70 per month in the MPS service territory and approximately $12.91 a month in the L&P service territory.
KCP&L-GMO serves approximately 247,000 customers in its MPS service territory and approximately 66,000 customers in its L&P service territory.