KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Kansas City Power & Light Co. is seeking a 15.8 percent increase for about half of its Missouri customers to collect revenue it says it needs to pay for federally required environmental upgrades at its La Cygne, Kansas, coal-fired plant.
The utility announced Thursday that the increase, which would bring in about $121 million a year, would cost the average residential customer about $14 more a month. About 270,000 of its 565,000 Missouri customers will be affected, with most of them in Kansas City. Customers in western Missouri, including those in St. Joseph and some Kansas City suburbs, will not pay the higher prices.
KCP&L said installation of scrubbers to reduce air pollution at the La Cygne plant cost $1.21 billion.
“Government mandates have resulted in increased costs as we comply with environmental rules and provide cleaner power to our customers,” Terry Bassham, CEO and president of KCP&L, said in a statement.
State regulators have approved several rate increases for KCP&L in the last decade and if the latest request is fully approved, the customers would be paying more than 50 percent more for power than they did a few years ago, The Kansas City Star reported (http://bit.ly/1sPWKlt ).
The rate increase would likely not take effect until September 2015. State regulators can reduce or reject a rate increase but they have less flexibility on federally required environmental improvements.
KCP&L will also file a rate increase request in Kansas to help pay for the La Cygne upgrade but that rate increase is expected to be less because those customers have already started paying their share of the improvements. The cost of the upgrade at its La Cygne plant is being split with Westar Energy, KCP&L’s partner in the plant.
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