April 24, 2014
The Missouri Public Service Commission approved an agreement in Missouri Gas Energy's (MGE) general rate case under which MGE customers will continue to receive safe and reliable natural gas service for nearly the same rates that they pay today (April 24).
Starting in May and extending through September, the fixed monthly delivery charge for residential customers will decrease 23 cents per month to $27.87. In October, that charge will be split into a $23 fixed monthly delivery charge and a variable delivery charge based on usage of natural gas. In total, the agreement approved by the Missouri Public Service Commission will increase base rate revenues by $7.8 million and reduce the company's current Infrastructure System Replacement Surcharge revenues by a like amount.
"We appreciate all of the efforts in the give-and-take of negotiations to reach a reasonable agreement that's consistent with our shared interest in delivering safe and reliable natural gas service for customers efficiently and cost effectively," said Steve Lindsey, president of Missouri Gas Energy.
While general rates remain nearly the same, some added services are included in the agreement to provide relief for low-income customers struggling with higher energy bills from the harsh winter. In 2013-2014, record cold temperatures pushed energy demand up 27 percent across the nation. Now, in addition to current programs like Neighbors Helping Neighbors, temporary energy assistance will be available for qualifying households through MGE. Customers are encouraged to apply for assistance between May 1 and June 30 by calling their local community action agency.
This rate case also continues and expands programs that will encourage MGE customers to cut energy usage by taking advantage of incentives to raise energy efficiency at home and at the office. An expanded offering of rebates and savings will become available for business customers in addition to those already available for residential customers. "These rebates can save customers hundreds of dollars upfront with new appliance purchases which will increase efficiency in the long run," said Lindsey.
Missouri law requires utilities to file a general rate case every three years to incorporate costs related to pipeline safety upgrades into general rates. As MGE continues to invest in safety and upgrade pipelines, small adjustments will be requested to reflect those costs. This general rate case covers costs that make up about 40 percent of a typical residential bill and recovers costs for infrastructure, operating and maintenance costs Missouri Gas Energy incurs to deliver natural gas safely and reliably to homes and businesses. It is separate from the Cost of Gas rate which reflects changes in the costs charged by our gas and pipeline suppliers.
About Missouri Gas Energy
Missouri Gas Energy has provided natural gas service to the residents of the Kansas City metropolitan area and western Missouri for nearly 150 years. Now owned by Laclede Gas Company, a subsidiary of The Laclede Group, Inc. (NYSE:LG), we are part of the largest gas distribution company in Missouri, delivering natural gas to more than 1.13 million customers. Missouri Gas Energy serves residential, commercial and industrial customers in 30 counties.
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