Kansas City Power & Light’s recent lower fuel costs soon will be passed on to most of the utility’s suburban and outstate customers in Missouri, saving them a few dollars on their monthly electric bills.
The Missouri Public Service Commission on Thursday said the utility’s fuel adjustment charge, which lets KCP&L pass up to 95 percent of its fuel costs on to those customers, will be lowered starting Sept. 1.
For customers in the utility’s former St. Joseph Power & Light service area, the savings should average $2.69 a month, the regulatory commission estimated. In the rest of the service territory that KCP&L acquired when it bought Aquila, average savings are estimated at $3.11 a month.
KCP&L has around 315,000 customers in those service areas, which do not include the utility’s approximately 270,000 customers in its original Kansas City service area. The original area doesn’t have a fuel adjustment charge but is requesting one in a rate case that’s expected to be decided soon.
A similar charge does apply to KCP&L’s nearly 250,000 customers in Kansas. Its quarterly adjustment is coming up, so Kansas customers might get a similar break soon. The utility doesn’t disclose details of its energy contracts, but the price of coal is at a 12-year low and natural gas prices have stayed low.
The fuel adjustment charge reflects KCP&L’s costs for fuel and for power it bought from other companies in the half year from December through May. The charge was initiated in Missouri for the former Aquila and St. Joseph Power & Light areas before they were acquired by KCP&L so they could regularly recover rising fuel costs — or, as in this case, pass on savings.