Kansas Regulators Going Ahead With Westar Hearing

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TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) _ The commission regulating Kansas utilities is going ahead with a hearing Wednesday on Westar Energy Inc.'s electric rates.

That's despite a proposed settlement among Westar and other parties. It would raise the company's rates an average of 11 percent for more than 675,000 homes and businesses.

That would be worth $130 million in additional revenues annually for Westar, the state's largest electric company.

Westar had sought to raise its rates about 15 percent, or $177 million a year. But the Kansas Corporation Commission's staff and a state agency representing consumers had pushed for a lesser amount.

Commission spokeswoman Rosemary Foreman says the hearing will give Westar and the other parties a chance to present the agreement to commissioners.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)