Residents have the chance to voice their opinions on a Kansas City Power & Light rate case at a public hearing set for Monday, July 9, at St. Joseph’s City Hall.
The Missouri Public Service Commission will hold the hearing for the rate hike request filed in January by the KCP&L-GMO (Greater Missouri Operations) service area that covers Buchanan, Andrew and a dozen more Northwest Missouri counties.
A PSC public information/question-and-answer session starts at noon, followed by the commission and staff receiving formal testimony from the public.
The utility is attempting to raise its annual electric revenues by approximately $19.3 million, including a rebased fuel charge. Under the filing, the average residential customer would see electric rates rise by approximately $2 a month. KCP&L-GMO provides service to more than 320,000 electric customers in Buchanan, Andrew, Atchison, Clinton, Daviess, DeKalb, Gentry, Grundy, Harrison, Holt, Livingston, Mercer, Nodaway, Platte, Worth and other outlying counties.
Company officials explained the reasons behind the case filing.
“KCP&L is working to bring innovative energy solutions to its customers that will allow them the flexibility to manage their energy usage in a way that fits their needs,” said a statement from the utility released to News-Press Now.
“Additionally, KCP&L is asking to pass along to customers 100 percent of the savings resulting from the Tax Cut and Jobs Act,” the utility stated, adding that the plan will result in approximately $65 million in savings for all of its Missouri customers.
The January decision to file the case came on the heels of the announcement of the new federal tax program. Reductions in corporate income tax rates have influenced utilities to pass on those savings to customers.
Officials have said that of a projected $100 million in potential tax savings, approximately $30 million could occur in the KCP&L-GMO territory.
KCP&L also said those savings could be used to pay for a new customer information system set to be launched later in the year. The network is set to feature cybersecurity upgrades to protect customers’ personal information.
Another portion of the funding is intended to allow customers to power their homes and businesses with renewable energy, such as wind and solar, in line with a philosophy that sees homeowners asking for more choice in their energy source.
The changes were scheduled to go into effect even without the federal tax cuts.
A separate rate case affects KCP&L customers living in Platte, Livingston and other counties beyond the region.