Missouri regulators open proceeding on decoupling utility sales, profits

Dive Brief:

  • Missouri regulators have opened a proceeding to consider decoupling utility sales from profits, a move increasingly embraced in the state as efficiency and distributed resources become more prevalent.
  • Staff of the Public Service Commission will file a report and make a recommendation to the commission, no later that Nov. 2; the public is welcome to submit comments.
  • Often at odds, Midwest Energy News reports decoupling has increasing support from both environmental advocates and utility executives in the state.

Dive Insight:

The rise of distributed energy resources, the increasing importance of energy efficiency and flat power sales may have all combined to put environmental advocates and utility executives on the same page in Missouri. State regulators have opened a new proceeding to consider separating utility sales from revenue, and Midwest Energy News reports the state's biggest power providers are showing interest.

“In a world where energy efficiency and distributed generation and things of that nature are becoming more important and more prevalent, we think decoupling is a very wise thing to look at, and see if it makes sense," Kansas City Power & Light Vice President Chuck Caisley told MEN.

Ameren Missouri issued a statement saying it "remains interested in discussing" decoupling policies.

Just what decoupling what look like remains unclear, and regulators have directed PSC staff to "investigate the structure and operation of possible decoupling mechanisms for use in Missouri." The proceeding is open to public comment, and staff will issue a report in early November with its recommendations.

Comments are due Sept. 1, referencing Case AW-2015-0282.

The commission is requesting comment on the legality of decoupling, what the structure would look like, potential rate impacts and other information on alternative rate mechanisms.

Natural Resources Defense Council senior economist Ashok Gupta told MEN, "we're excited about this happening. It's one of our highest priorities. In order to really encourage energy efficiency, we have to deal with this issue of the impact of sales on revenues.”

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Filed Under: Efficiency & Demand Response Regulation & Policy
Top image credit: Aaron McMahon