Winter Storm Uri Payoff Completed | News

Winter Storm Uri Payoff Completed

June 05, 2023

Midwest Energy natural gas customers will notice a pleasant change on their June 2024 gas bills – the elimination of the “Applicable Uri Charge” line item, effective May 31, 2023.  

“We estimated it would take us two years to complete collecting $9.68 million in excess gas costs incurred during Uri in February 2021,” said Patrick Parke, Midwest Energy’s Chief Executive Officer. “Due to higher-than-expected natural gas use last winter, we were able to complete collection a full month early.” 

Midwest Energy is the first major gas company in Kansas to complete its Uri-related excess cost recovery. The average Midwest Energy residential customer paid an additional $8.27 per month, or about $200 total for Uri recovery.

Instead of recovering this amount through a flat monthly charge, Midwest Energy charged a 14.3¢ per therm increase on natural gas beginning July 1, 2021. This way, costs would be recovered more equitably across residential customers. Agricultural customers (irrigation and grain dryers) were not included in the cost recovery plan, because they were not operating during the Winter Storm Uri period.

Parke added that while a lawsuit was filed in February 2023 by the Kansas Attorney General, accusing a Houston-based energy firm of market manipulation to the tune of tens of millions of dollars, it’s unknown if the suit will one day provide relief to Kansas customers.

With respect to the lawsuit, Parke said, “While we are hopeful that one day our customers might see some of those charges returned, it’s far too early to say that’s a probability.”