As temperatures rise in Kansas City, you may see your electricity bill start to rise as well. This is due to a combination of factors, including rate increases on electricity and higher energy usage as many of us switch on our air conditioners.
Evergy’s Missouri Metro division is the main electricity provider for Kansas City, Missouri. The company’s other divisions cover other parts of the metro: Evergy Missouri West covers many of the counties surrounding Kansas City, while Evergy Kansas Metro covers most of Johnson and Wyandotte counties.
That means that unless your home is hooked up to an alternate energy source, you probably get an Evergy bill every month. Here’s what to expect as we head into summer, and how you can keep your bills manageable.
How much more electricity do customers use during the summer months?
The average residential customer in the Kansas City area uses over 40% more electricity in the summer than they do in the winter, according to two groups familiar with usage data.
“On average, residential customers use about 44% more electricity in the summer months, when weather tends to be hot and humid, than the winter,” Evergy spokesperson Kaley Bohlen told The Star. “Air conditioners are the driving factor of the difference.”
Bohlen said that the average residential customer uses around 674 kWh per month in the winter, with usage jumping to around 975 kWh per month in the summer. That’s an increase of almost 45%.
The Office of Public Counsel, a small group of lawyers tasked with representing utility customers before the state’s regulators, provided similar numbers.
“The monthly average usage in the summer is 45% higher than the monthly average in the other months,” wrote John Clizer, an attorney with the office. He added that his calculations defined the summer months as June, July, August and September.
Does that mean bills also go up that much in the summer?
An increase in electricity usage doesn’t necessarily mean you will see the same increase in your bill. Evergy bills include factors not related to your usage, and the company charges different rates for electricity in the summer than in the winter.
Bohlen told The Star that an average monthly winter bill for a residential customer is $92.66, while an average monthly summer bill is around $149.02. That’s an increase of nearly 61% — due in part to the higher rate the company charges for electricity in the summer.
Evergy’s standard electricity rates depend on how much electricity you use. Check out the chart below to see what your power costs before additional surcharges and taxes are added.
How have Evergy bills changed in the past year?
The Missouri Public Services Commission, which regulates some utility companies in the state, has approved several adjustments to Evergy Missouri Metro’s billing rates in the past year. Some of them increased charges on your bill, while others led to decreases.
The first bill adjustments of 2023 came from a rate case that the commission decided in January. Residential customers saw increases of around $3.75 per month on average — a change intended to net Evergy Missouri Metro an additional $30 million.
This same rate case also approved a monthly bill increase of around $4.50 on average for Evergy Missouri West customers, many of whom live in the greater Kansas City metro area.
Regulators said that these rate increases both funded the company’s power plant operations and created a “reasonable return” for Evergy’s investors.
On Feb. 1, the average customer saw a decrease of around $1.63 per month to a surcharge called the DISM. This charge is related to the cost of the company’s energy efficiency programs, and also decreased by $2.01 per month last July.
Then, on April 1, another surcharge on customers’ bills called the FAC rose by around $4.45 per month for a customer using around 1,000 kilowatt-hours (kWh) of electricity, an amount slightly above the average residential customer’s usage.
The FAC, or fuel adjustment charge, is meant to make up for the cost of fuels like coal ending up higher or lower than Evergy’s predictions during the previous rate case. This charge also increased by 17 cents per month last October.
All these changes combined mean that an Evergy Missouri Metro customer using 1,000 kWh of electricity per month will see bill increases of around $8 per month, or $96 per year, compared to last year’s bills. This amount will also vary depending on your electricity usage.
What resources are available if I can’t afford my Evergy bills?
There are several programs available for Kansas Citians struggling to pay their electric bills. Here are a few to check out:
Evergy offers flexible rate plans for those with electric cars, electric heating and other energy use patterns. Learn more on their website.
The federal Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) is administered through Missouri’s Department of Social Services. Apply through the Mid-America Assistance Coalition here.
Evergy has an Economic Relief Pilot Program for low-income customers. Find out whether you qualify on the company’s website.
Learn about more assistance programs through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development here.
Do you have more questions about energy bills in Kansas City? Ask the Service Journalism team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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