Get ready to pay more for electricity. It`s official, rates are going up. The Joplin-based Empire District Electric Company has been granted a rate hike by the Missouri Public Service Commission. Rates are going up 8.4%. Electric officials say the extra funds will provide the company an additional $17.1 million dollars. The average customer will see an increase of $8.52 in their monthly bill. Customers of Empire in Northeast Oklahoma will not be affected by the rate hike.