- Associated Press - Friday, June 26, 2015

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - The Empire District Electric Company has permission to increase rates by what amounts to about $7 a month for some southwest Missouri residential customers.

The Public Service Commission on Thursday announced the regulatory body approved the rate increase. Increasing the rates will mean the company brings in roughly $17 million more in annual operating revenues.

The $7 increase is based on a usage of 1,000 kilowatt hours. The fixed monthly customer charge for residential customers will remain about $12.50 a month.

Empire requested the rate increase in August. It argued the revenue primarily was needed because of costs to install an air quality control system at the Asbury Power Plant.

Empire provides electricity to nearly 150,000 customers in southwest Missouri, including Joplin.

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