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    The Empire District Electric Company recently announced it plans to file an electricity rate hike proposal with the Missouri Public Service Commission in an attempt increase its revenues from rates by $30.7 million, the Missouri News Leader reports.

    According to the news source, if the proposed hike is approved, residential customers that use about 1,000 kilowatt hours per month will see an increase of about $6.60 on their electricity bills. Empire said it will use the funds to cover operation and maintenance expenses associated with the devastating tornado that occurred on May 22, 2011.

    The utility is also raising its prices to comply with standards established by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), which state that new transmission lines should be improved and made more resilient.

    "We are asking the commission to implement the $6.2 million portion of the case related to tornado recovery costs and the post-tornado cost of service through interim rates to take effect in 30 days," the company said. "The remainder of the case is mainly associated with actions needed for compliance with various regulations and mandates."

    Similar rate hikes are appearing around the country, however residents in deregulated states have the option to switch energy providers to lock in to low rates for pre-established periods.