Evergy has asked the Missouri Public Service Commission (MPSC) to allow the company to make changes to its implementation of time-based rates that the MPSC mandated for Evergy’s residential Missouri customers. Based on feedback from its customers and state policymakers, Evergy has asked to change the default time-based rate for residential customers to the plan that is most like the current non-time-based rate residential customers have today, which has the lowest difference between the peak period of 4-8 p.m. and the non-peak period.
“Evergy has always advocated for customer rate choice and does not support mandated time-based rates,” said Chuck Caisley, Evergy’s Chief Customer Officer. “Customers, elected officials and other stakeholders have clearly voiced their concerns about mandating summer peak pricing, and we appreciate that the Commission is willing to listen to this feedback. We have asked to change the default rate to one that provides a smaller price change during peak times and to allow customers to opt back into an ‘anytime’ rate, like we offer today, before the 2024 summer months.”
Evergy’s requested changes:
Modify the default time-based rate from Standard Peak Saver to the Peak Reward Saver. To help protect customers who may not be aware of the change to time-based plans, who may not be able to easily change when they consume electricity or who might not have access to Evergy’s digital tools and other support items, Evergy believes a rate that has the lowest differential between the peak time and off-peak times should be the default rate for customers who don’t select a rate plan option.
If Evergy’s request is approved, the Company will update the names of the existing Standard Peak Saver and Peak Reward Saver plans to reflect the new default standard time-based rate. The time and pricing structure of the rate plans have not changed.
Proposed Name Changes:
- Peak Reward Saver would change to Default Time Based Plan (new default).
- Standard Peak Saver (current Default) would change to Summer Peak Time Based Plan.
Allow the return of a traditional standard tier rate (Anytime Plan) in May 2024. Evergy has always advocated for customer choice and believes a traditional non-time-based rate plan should still be an option for customers who may not be able to make the shifts in electricity usage needed to be successful on a time-based rate plan during summer months.
Update how often customers can switch rate plans after a transition period. Evergy has asked for a 12-month wait period before a customer who leaves a time-based rate plan to return to that same rate plan. If approved, this would not take effect until May 2024, to allow customers time to find a plan that works best for their household. Customers would always be able to go back to the default plan.
If needed, allow Evergy to spend additional funds to educate customers about these changes.
Evergy asked the commission to provide a decision by the end of September to allow for implementation and to minimize confusion that a delayed decision may create for customers.
Work to implement mandatory time-based rates began in late 2022, when the Missouri Commission issued an order that required Evergy to move all residential customers to time-based rate plans. For the past nine months, Evergy has worked with the Commission to create a plan and timeline for raising customer awareness and ensuring tools and information were available to help customers understand the available plans and choose the one that best fits their personal energy usage and needs.
Timeline of Events
January 2022: Evergy files Missouri rate case supporting customer choice with optional time-based rates.
Nov. 21, 2022: MPSC issues Order requiring mandated time-based rates for Evergy residential customers.
June 2023: Evergy begins customer awareness and education campaign to prepare customers for change to time-based rate plans in October and November.
Aug. 30, 2023: During a Commission Agenda meeting, some Commissioners signaled a desire to make updates to their November 2022 order requiring mandated time-based rate plans.
Sept. 8, 2023: Evergy files request to update the time-based default plan and other proposed changes.
Sept. 11, 2023: Commission issues an order notifying parties to respond to Evergy’s request.