Thursday, December 18, 2014

Environmental upgrades at Nearman plant lead to $75 million increase in BPU budget

KANSAS CITY, KAN. ----- The Kansas City Board of Public Utilities (BPU) Board of Directors approved its 2015 Annual Budget for the municipal electric and water utility at its December 17, 2014 Board meeting.

The budget was adopted following a series of public budget hearings during the month of December.

The 2015 budget totaling $450 million is $75 million more than the 2014 budget of $375 million. The increase is a result of the costs surrounding environmental upgrades at its Nearman coal-fired power plant.

Government mandates have resulted in increased costs for electric utilities as they comply with environmental rules to provide cleaner power to customers.

As outlined in the budget, priorities for 2015 include:

1) Remaining focused on the needs of customers through increased communication and new customer friendly initiatives;

2) Delivering reliable electric and utility service through use of innovative, advanced technology, enforcing reliability standards for all transmission and distribution system components;

3) Energizing the new Fiberglass Substation to increase electric distribution capacity, reduce system losses, and improve service to Fairfax commercial and industrial customers;

4) Begin construction of the Nearman Air Quality Control Project;

5) Promoting energy efficiency through customer education and develop new programs that improve overall energy efficiency in the community.

BPU will continue working to improve internal efficiencies and reduce costs, assist and support community partners and governmental units, and meet and prepare for future customer growth.