The Empire District Electric Company (NYSE:EDE) announced today that it has filed a request with the Arkansas Public Service Commission (APSC) to implement a cost recovery rider for the conversion of the existing Riverton Unit 12 to combined cycle operation.

With this filing, the APSC will establish a procedural schedule to determine the timeline for the review and effective date of the rider. If approved, the rider would result in an increase of approximately $5.75 a month for residential Arkansas customers using 1,000 kilowatt-hours of energy. Empire has approximately 4,400 customers in Arkansas.

The Riverton 12 Combined Cycle Unit replaces the production capacity of recently retired coal-fired generators at Riverton. The project was completed at a cost of $168 million. The conversion was necessary to comply with new Mercury Air Toxics Standards (MATS) mandated by the Environmental Protection Agency.

In making the announcement, Brad Beecher, president and CEO, stated, "The Riverton Combined Cycle project was the most economic option to replace the coal units at Riverton and comply with the Mercury Air Toxics Standards. This new configuration captures the exhaust heat from the existing natural gas unit and uses it to power the new steam turbine. This highly efficient process will help us hold down fuel costs for customers while lowering emissions and protecting the environment."

Based in Joplin, Missouri, The Empire District Electric Company (NYSE: EDE) is an investor-owned, regulated utility providing electric, natural gas (through its wholly owned subsidiary The Empire District Gas Company), and water service, with approximately 218,000 customers in Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, and Arkansas. A subsidiary of the Company also provides fiber optic services. For more information regarding Empire, visit

Certain matters discussed in this press release are "forward-looking statements" intended to qualify for the safe harbor from liability established by the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Such statements address or may address future plans, objectives, expectations and events or conditions concerning various matters such as the pending acquisition of Empire by Liberty Utilities (Central) Co. (Liberty Central), a subsidiary of Algonquin Power & Utilities Corp. (APUC) (the Merger), capital expenditures, earnings, pension and other costs, competition, litigation, our construction program, our generation plans, our financing plans, potential acquisitions, rate and other regulatory matters, liquidity and capital resources and accounting matters. Actual results in each case could differ materially from those currently anticipated in such statements, by reason of the factors noted in the Company's filings with the SEC, including the most recent Form 10-K and 10-Q.

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