SOURCE: The Empire District Electric Company

The Empire District Electric Company

April 15, 2011 15:18 ET

The Empire District Electric Company Announces New Rates for Arkansas Customers

JOPLIN, MO--(Marketwire - Apr 15, 2011) - The Empire District Electric Company (NYSE: EDE) announced today that the Arkansas Public Service Commission has granted a change in rates for its Arkansas electric customers.

The Order granted an annual increase in revenues of approximately $2.1 million, or about 19 percent. The residential customer charge will increase to $10 per month. For residential customers using 1,000 kilowatt hours, this means a total monthly increase of approximately $20. The percentage change will vary based upon customer usage patterns. The new rates went into effect on April 13, 2011.

In making the announcement, Bill Gipson, president and CEO, stated, "The new rates will allow us to begin recovery of the costs associated with environmental upgrades at Iatan 1 and the Asbury Power Plant, and 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."

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.

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