Notice of Public Hearing & Comment Period Concerning Rate Request

Southern Pioneer Electric Company (Southern Pioneer) has filed an application with the Kansas Corporation Commission (KCC) requesting approval of a rate adjustment to better align its rates to the cost of providing service to both residential and business customers. If approved, there would be a $1.20 per month increase in the Residential Service and the Municipal Power Service Customer Charge for each of the next three years. The Energy Charge for General Service Small customers will increase $0.00184 per kWh. There will be an off-setting reduction in the General Service Large Energy Charge.

Also as part of this application, Southern Pioneer is also requesting approval of two new rates.  A Grid Access Charge is proposed for customers that, in the future, install their own source of electric generation behind the meter (also known as distributed generation facilities). The second proposal is a tariff to recover the cost to install and provide service for new Light Emitting Diode (also known as LED) lighting to replace less efficient or failing and obsolete traditional types of outdoor lighting such as security and street lighting.

Public Hearing

The Commission has scheduled a public hearing to provide Southern Pioneer customers an opportunity to learn more about the proposed changes and make comments about the proposal to Commissioners. The public hearing is scheduled for:

Monday, Jan. 6, 2020 from 6 – 8 p.m.

Liberal High School Auditorium, 1611 W 2nd St., Liberal, Kansas

or by video-conference at

Medicine Lodge High School Library, 400 W Eldorado Ave., Medicine Lodge, Kansas.

Any person requiring special accommodations at the hearing under the Americans with Disabilities Act needs to provide notice to the Commission at least 10-days prior to the scheduled hearing by calling: (785) 271-3140.

Public Comment Period

The Commission will accept comments regarding the proposed rate changes through April 1, 2020 at 5 p.m. CDT. There are three convenient ways to submit a comment:

1. Go to the Commission’s website (www.kcc.ks.gov) and click on the “Your Opinion Matters” link to enter your comment.
2. Send a written letter to the Kansas Corporation Commission, Office of Public Affairs and Consumer Protection, 1500 SW Arrowhead Road, Topeka, KS 66604-4027.
Be sure to reference Docket No. 20-SPEE-169-RTS.
3. Call the Commission’s Office of Public Affairs and Consumer Protection at
1-800-662-0027.

Regulatory Responsibility

The Commission regulates public utilities, who are not locally regulated pursuant to K.S.A. 66-104d.  The Commission’s oversight primarily pertains to rates and terms of service.  To ensure that customers of regulated utilities are provided sufficient and efficient service at just and reasonable rates, regulated utilities may not change their rates without Commission approval.

Evidentiary Hearing

An evidentiary hearing is scheduled to begin at 9 a.m., March 31st – April 1st, 2020, in the Commission’s First Floor Hearing Room, 1500 SW Arrowhead Road, Topeka, Kansas 66604-4027. At this hearing, the Commission Staff, Citizen’s Utility Ratepayer Board (CURB), company representatives, and any interveners will present their cases to the Commission.

Additional Information

A complete copy of Southern Pioneer’s Filing (the application, supporting testimony and proposed rates) is available on the Commission’s website at: http://www.kcc.ks.gov, by searching Docket Filing for Docket No. 20-SPEE-169-RTS.  You may contact Randall D. Magnison, Executive Vice President-Assistant CEO at 620-424-5211 or Southern Pioneer’s Customer Service Offices at 1-800-670-4381 with questions.

If you have questions or complaints regarding this Filing, you may also contact the Commission’s Office of Public Affairs and Consumer Protection at 1-800-662-0027 or at public.affairs@kcc.ks.gov.

History Of Southern Pioneer Electric Company

Southern Pioneer, with its corporate office in Ulysses, Kansas and Customer Service-Distribution Offices in Liberal and Medicine Lodge, Kansas, is a not-for-profit corporation and is a wholly owned subsidiary of Pioneer Electric Cooperative, Inc.  Southern Pioneer is governed by a nine-member Board of Directors, comprised of cooperative consumers, and regularly receives input on matters affecting consumers from a nine-member Consumer Advisory Council, consisting of Southern Pioneer ratepayers.  Southern Pioneer provides distribution service to approximately 17,000 retail consumers in 10 southwest and south central Kansas counties.  Southern Pioneer also provides sub-transmission service to both full and partial requirement wholesale users of its 34.5kV sub-transmission system.