The Missouri Public Service Commission is hosting public meetings on a rate hike request by Empire District Electric Company.
One meeting was held at noon today and another is set for 6:30 this evening at Missouri Southern's Corley Auditorium.
Empire wants to boost rates by a little over 5% to pay for such things as vegetation control and the retirement of coal plants.
"We've expended the dollars for these projects and they are benefiting our customers and now we come back and ask for them to help recoup those costs, it's for a variety of programs but many of which are regulations which we have to adhere to," says Emily Stanley, the Corporate Communications Coordinator for Empire Electric.
Some customers spoke at today's meeting complaining that people on fixed incomes can't afford a rate hike.