UPDATE: All proposed changes mentioned in the below story were approved by Midwest Energy's Board of Directors on May 17, 2021; changes go into effect July 1, 2021.
Midwest Energy is holding a virtual open meeting of the Board of Directors on May 17 to consider treatment of excess energy costs from February’s Winter Storm Uri, proposed adjustments to gas delivery rates, and proposed changes to reconnection fees for electric and natural gas customers.
Winter Storm Uri Impacts
Midwest Energy spent approximately $12 million buying gas in February 2021; normal pricing for the month would have been roughly $1.5 million.
The Board is considering spreading cost recovery over an estimated 24 months. Subject to Board approval, residential and commercial retail customers would pay a 14.3¢ per therm addition to the Gas Supply Cost Adjustment. Average residential impact would be roughly $8.27 per month. This will appear on bills as part of the “Cost of Gas Commodity per Therm” charge, effective no sooner than July 1, 2021. Agricultural customers (irrigation and grain dryers), which were not operating during the Winter Storm Uri period, and gas transport customers are not included in the excess cost recovery proposal to be considered by the Board.
Natural Gas Rate Case
At the May 17 meeting, the Board will also consider adjustments to natural gas delivery rates in a matter originally scheduled for consideration in May 2020. That decision was suspended due to the pandemic.
The proposed delivery rate change would result in a net revenue increase of $1.04 million to the company compared to current rates. The increase would support pipeline safety, reliability improvements and operating expenses. If adopted as proposed, the delivery rate changes would result in an average residential bill increasing by approximately 98¢ per month compared to current effective rates based on actual 2020 gas usage. Proposed changes include increasing the monthly customer charge for residential customers from $18 to $19 and the delivery rate from 13.5¢ per therm to 16¢ per therm.
Even with the proposed changes, Midwest Energy’s residential and commercial gas delivery rates would remain the lowest in Kansas. If approved, rates would go into effect no sooner than July 1, 2021. Proposed bill examples and other rate information can be found at: www.mwenergy.com/residential/gas_rate_changes_2021.
Electric and Gas Reconnection Fee Changes
The Board will also consider a change in reconnection fees for electric and natural gas customers. Currently, the fee for reconnection for the first meter is $15, and $5 for additional meters on the same location. The proposal is to change the fee to a flat $15 per meter.
Accessing the Meeting
Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the May 17 open meeting will be accessible only via WebEx. All Midwest Energy customers are welcome to attend. The meeting begins May 17 at 1 p.m. The link for the meeting is https://bit.ly/3v57Pav. Alternately, you may dial into the meeting by phone by calling 1-415-655-0001; when prompted for the meeting number, enter 133 134 5565. If you have any questions or concerns about the proposed changes, or have difficulty joining the meeting, please email us at email@example.com.