Your Spire bill is rising again after regulators approve $78 million revenue increase

Jill Toyoshiba/jtoyoshiba@kcstar.com

Many Kansas City residents’ natural gas bills will rise by the end of 2022 thanks to an agreement approved this morning by the Missouri Public Service Commission.

The agreement allows Spire to increase their minimum revenue requirement by $78 million. While this decision will lead to an increase in the delivery charge component of customers’ bills, it approved a smaller revenue bump than the $143 million the company asked for this spring.

After months of deliberation and several public hearings, commissioners unanimously approved the case’s Full Unanimous Stipulation and Agreement Wednesday morning. In addition to the increase, the agreement also includes provisions requiring Spire to fund employee pensions at 80%, allocate additional money to their payment assistance programs, report data on its meter replacements and cooperate with other conditions.

“I would just like to commend all parties for working together and getting to a reasonable settlement in this case,” said commission chair Ryan Silvey in the meeting Wednesday morning.

The agreement was signed by groups including Spire, the Office of Public Counsel, commission staff, some consumer groups and other energy companies earlier this month.

“In a perfect world, we would have seen more dollars towards energy efficiency and no rate increase,” said Andrew Savastino, the director of Kansas City’s Office of Environmental Quality. “It’s not 100% of what we asked for, but it’s better than what was proposed.”

The City of Kansas City neither signed nor objected to the decision. City spokesperson Melissa Kozakiewicz noted that the city passed a resolution in September declaring its “concern” with the rate case.

What this means for your natural gas bill

Wednesday’s decision means that new, higher rates for the delivery of natural gas will go into effect by the end of the year. Spire has requested that the increase take place on Dec. 26, and no parties involved have objected. The latest this change will take place is Jan. 1, 2023.

Spire estimates that its residential natural gas customers on the west side of Missouri will see bill increases of around 4.91%, or $4.76 per month on average.

In addition to this delivery rate increase, the gas cost component of customers’ natural gas bills will also be higher than last winter. A new rate went into effect Tuesday that the company estimates will raise bills by around 9%, or $8.14 a month on average.

Here’s how the different components of your natural gas bill are calculated.

Do you have more questions about utility costs in Kansas City? Ask the Service Journalism team at kcq@kcstar.com.