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Missouri utility commission cancels meeting about Evergy’s proposed rate changes

Rising Utility Rates
Posted at 1:50 PM, Sep 18, 2023
and last updated 2023-09-18 14:50:42-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Missouri Public Service Commission has canceled Tuesday’s scheduled hearing about Evergy’s request to adjust its default time-based rate plan and continue offering a non-time-based billing option.

Evergy, a private company that serves as a for-profit public utility provider, applied to the commission Sept. 8 seeking to change the default plan and asking for creation of a new tier that would be in line with the status quo for billing.

The electric utility, which sent a release detailing the requests last week, requested a decision from the commission by the end of the month.

The Public Service Commission filed a motion on Sept. 13 to suspend the proposed rate changes for further discussion, but a day later the Missouri Office of the Public Counsel “asked the Commission to cancel the hearing stating parties do not have adequate time to prepare for the hearing,” according to the cancellation notification the Public Service Commission sent Monday.

Renew Missouri, a nonprofit that advocates for renewable energy in Missouri, advised the commission to reject the requested changes, which would have changed the default plan for people who do not choose from among Evergy’s new time-based options.

The commission subsequently scuttled the meeting.

“After review of these pleadings, the Commission concludes that it should cancel the September 19, 2023 hearing,” the Commission said in a statement.

Evergy serves eastern Kansas and western Missouri, but the time-based rate plans, which begin to go into effect next month, only impact customers in Missouri after the state’s Public Service Commission required the utility to switch to time-based plans.

Evergy, which declined to comment and directed all inquiries about the cancellation to the Public Service Commission, fought against the commission’s move to mandatory time-based plans from the outset.

The commission did not respond to calls from KSHB 41 seeking comment.