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Intervention possible in Empire rate increase

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Customers opposed to the proposed electric rate increase by Joplin-based Empire District Electric Co. have a chance to intervene in the Missouri Public Service Commission's decision.

Applications to intervene and participate in the rate case must be filed with the secretary of the MPSC - PO Box 360, Jefferson City, MO 65102-0360 - no later than Oct. 20, according to a commission news release.

Empire District filed an electric rate increase request Sept. 28, which would increase its annual revenue by $36.5 million. If the request is approved, customers using 1,000 kilowatt-hours of electricity a month would pay about $13.60 extra a month. The move followed an MPSC-approved agreement in late August between Empire District and the Office of the Public Counsel, allowing the company to increase its electric rates for Missouri customers, according to Springfield Business Journal coverage.

After the application deadline, MPSC will hold local public hearings to garner customer opinion on the rate request. A schedule with dates, times and locations has not yet been finalized, according to the release.

The Empire District Electric Co. (NYSE: EDE) serves approximately 148,000 electric customers in the Missouri counties of Barry, Barton, Cedar, Christian, Dade, Dallas, Greene, Hickory, Jasper, Lawrence, McDonald, Newton, Polk, St. Clair, Stone and Taney, the release said.

In a Sept. 28 company news release, Empire President and CEO Bill Gipson said the company is seeking a rate increase to begin recovery of the costs associated with its Iatan 2 generating plant in Platte County.

Shares of Empire stock were trading at $20.60 as of 8:30 a.m. Oct. 6. Empire's 52-week range is $17.57 to $20.60.[[In-content Ad]]

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