Kansas City Power & Light (KCP&L) filed a request (Docket No. ER-2017-0001) on July 1 with the Missouri Public Service Commission (PSC) to increase base rates for electric service in one of its service areas.
The utility is requesting a 7.5% rate increase, to produce about $63 million more in revenue a year, according to the local Kansas City Star. Additionally, this request includes an adjustment to the fuel adjustment clause, which results in a 3 percent increase. If approved, the average residential customer’s monthly bill will ratchet up by about $9.
The rate request process in Missouri involves many steps; ergo, any rate increases in response to this filing would be effective in April or May 2017.
The proposed price increase is needed, KCP&L stated, to recover money spent upgrading the company’s infrastructure, adding regional transmission lines, and complying with environmental and cybersecurity mandates.
“Our customers depend on KCP&L to deliver electricity to their homes and businesses each day,” said CEO Terry Bassham, adding, “KCP&L has one of the most reliable electrical grids in the country, and continuing that track record and quality requires investment in systems, infrastructure and equipment upgrades.”
KCP&L is recommending that the requested increase be spread equally across all customer classes and all components of customers’ bills, including the Customer Charge. The Customer Charge is a fixed monthly charge that includes the cost to provide service to each customer’s home or business, including equipment, administrative systems and other items.
KCP&L customers receive reduced electric rates when KCP&L sells electricity to other utilities across the country. Over the last year, low natural gas prices and decreased demand have significantly decreased the price and amount of electricity KCP&L is able to sell outside of its service territory, which has reduced this benefit to customers.
KCP&L parent company, Great Plains Energy, recently announced its intent to acquire Westar Energy, the largest investor-owned utility in Kansas. The requested rate increase is not related to this pending acquisition.