Bill backed by KCP&L would allow frequent, but possibly smaller, rate increases

Missouri utilities could raise customers’ rates every year — and with less control by regulators — under a bill they’re backing in Jefferson City.

The bill, sponsored by Sen. Ryan Silvey, R-Kansas City, would amend Missouri’s 1913 regulatory law so utilities could expect quicker and more predictable returns on their investments in power plants, transmission lines and other infrastructure.

Proponents say that in return, those rate increases will be more predictable and subject to yearly limits. Kansas City Power & Light customers, for example, would not have to face another 11.7 percent rate spike like they got last September.

But some opponents of the proposed bill argue that the formulaic approach would remove the Public Service Commission’s ability to scrutinize rate requests and control rate increases.

“Our hope is that we can come up with a modern system that works for today’s issues,” Silvey said. “A lot has changed in the utility space and how we utilize electricity in the last 103 years.”

Read more: Kansas City Star

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