SOURCE: The Empire District Electric Company

The Empire District Electric Company

August 19, 2010 11:59 ET

The Empire District Electric Company Files for New Arkansas Electric Rates

JOPLIN, MO--(Marketwire - August 19, 2010) -  The Empire District Electric Company (NYSE: EDE) announced today that it has filed a request with the Arkansas Public Service Commission (APSC) for changes in rates for its Arkansas electric customers. The Company is seeking an annual increase in revenues of approximately $3.2 million, or about 27.3 percent. This will be the first increase in base rates for Empire's Arkansas customers since 2005. 

If approved, the residential customer charge would increase to $17 per month. This along with the change in the usage charge will result in a total monthly increase of approximately $40 for a residential customer using 1,000 kilowatt hours. The percentage change to customer bills will vary based upon usage.

The proposed change to the customer charge will more accurately reflect the actual costs associated with providing meter and service, meter reading and billing, customer service, and the delivery facilities necessary to serve customers. 

In making the announcement, Bill Gipson, president and CEO, stated, "We are seeking new rates to begin recovery of costs related to environmental upgrades at Iatan 1 and the Asbury Power Plant, and the new generating units Riverton Unit 12, Iatan 2, and the Plum Point Generating Station. These new generating units will allow Empire to continue to provide reliable service to our customers with least-cost options using a balanced mix of resources."

Following yesterday's filing with the APSC, an extensive audit of Empire's operations, a public hearing, and an evidentiary hearing will be held at the APSC. Empire anticipates that any new rates approved by the APSC would not become effective until the summer of 2011.

Based in Joplin, Missouri, The Empire District Electric Company (NYSE: EDE) is an investor-owned, regulated utility providing electricity, natural gas (through its wholly owned subsidiary The Empire District Gas Company), and water service, with approximately 215,000 customers in Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, and Arkansas. A subsidiary of the company provides fiber optic services. For more information regarding Empire, visit www.empiredistrict.com.

Certain matters discussed in this press release are "forward-looking statements" intended to qualify for the safe harbor from liability established by the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Such statements address future plans, objectives, expectations, and events or conditions concerning various matters. Actual results in each case could differ materially from those currently anticipated in such statements, by reason of the factors noted in our filings with the SEC, including the most recent Form 10-K and Form 10-Q.