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Evergy amends application for changes to time-based billing after canceled meeting

Utility now seeks only to change default plan
GREEN MOUNTAIN POWER
Posted at 4:00 PM, Sep 19, 2023

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Lawyers for Evergy have filed an amended application regarding last-minute changes it asked the Missouri Public Service Commission to consider related to mandated time-based billing changes.

Evergy, a for-profit private utility company that provides electricity for western Missouri and eastern Kansas, had sought to change the default plan, offer a standard-tier pricing option modeled after the current non-time-based billing setup, prevent customers from switching plans for 12 months unless they were returning to the default plan, and spend additional money on customer education, if needed, in a Sept. 8 filing.

The Public Service Commission, which required Evergy to move to time-based billing last year, canceled a hearing that had been scheduled for Tuesday regarding the proposed changes, citing a lack of “adequate time to prepare for the hearing.”

The time-based rate changes were set to go into effect Oct. 1.

Evergy has filed an amended application with the Public Service Commission on Monday, dropping its request for a non-time-based standard tier and for a 12-month freeze on plan changes.

Instead, Evergy is asking for permission to make the Peak Reward Saver plan the default plan for customers who do not voluntarily elect a plan and have asked the Public Service Commission to push back implementation until Oct. 14.

The Standard Peak Saver is the current default plan.

Under time-based billing, Evergy customers will be charged a premium for using electricity between 4 and 8 p.m. on weekdays.

The Standard Saver Plan charges a higher rate during those hours than the Peak Reward Saver plan, which has a higher rate during non-peak hours.

Evergy indicated that it was surprised by “the significant amount of response” to its Sept. 8 proposal, which it believed “was responsive to customer and other feedback and ... would be in the public interest.”

The power company withdrew three of the four requests from its original application “as a result of concerns raised in response to the Application,” according to the amended application.

The Public Service Commission ordered staff to prepare a recommendation by Sept. 25 in a response issued Tuesday.

Evergy said it would need a decision by Oct. 4 “to ensure the Company’s billing system is configured correctly to implement the changes to the plan.”

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