SOURCE: The Empire District Electric Company

The Empire District Electric Company

September 28, 2010 18:29 ET

The Empire District Electric Company Files for New Missouri Electric Rates

JOPLIN, MO--(Marketwire - September 28, 2010) - The Empire District Electric Company (NYSE: EDE) announced today that it has filed a request with the Missouri Public Service Commission (MPSC) for changes in rates for its Missouri electric customers. The Company is seeking an annual increase in revenues of approximately $36.5 million, or about 9.2 percent. 

If approved by the MPSC, the residential customer charge would increase to $24.00 per month. This along with the change in the usage charge will result in a total monthly increase of approximately $13.60 for a residential customer using 1,000 kilowatt hours. The percentage change to customer bills will vary based upon the individual customer usage patterns.

The proposed change to the residential customer charge more accurately reflects the actual fixed costs incurred to deliver energy to customers. 

The Company is asking to continue the use of the Fuel Adjustment Clause (FAC) that was previously approved by the MPSC. The continuation of the FAC will allow the Company to increase or decrease its electric rates twice each year on June 1 and December 1 to track the changes in the cost of fuel used to generate electricity at the Company's generating units and to track changes in the cost of electric energy it purchases on behalf of its customers. 

In making the announcement, Bill Gipson, president and CEO, stated, "We are seeking new rates to begin recovery of the costs associated with the completion of Iatan 2, an 850-megawatt, high efficiency coal-fired generating plant located in Platte County, Missouri. Empire owns 12 percent, or about 102 megawatts, of the plant that is operated by Kansas City Power & Light. The Iatan 2 unit, along with several other significant system improvements, was included in Empire's long-term energy and regulatory plan approved by the MPSC in August 2005." Gipson continued, "This is the final step in our five-year plan to provide our customers with reliable and environmentally responsible energy resources."

After today's filing with the MPSC, the MPSC will perform an audit of Empire's operations, hold public hearings, and hold an evidentiary hearing. The Company anticipates that any new rates approved by the MPSC 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.