Rate Hike Relief
JOPLIN (AP) - Customers of Empire District Electric Company may get a break after the Missouri Supreme Court ordered state regulators to take back their approval of a rate hike. Joplin-based Empire District provides electricity, water and gas to about 215,000 customers in southwest Missouri and neighboring states. The Supreme Court said the state Public Service Commission did not give opponents enough time to challenge the Empire rate increase of about 5 percent for consumer electricity. The commission made the decision on the last business day of last year and gave the state office that represents utility customers less than two hours notice to file an appeal.