Fuel Costs Raising Electric Bills for Westar Customers

By: AP
By: AP

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) _ High fuel prices are hitting Kansas consumers when they drive and when they stay home and run the air conditioner.

Westar Energy, which serves almost 700,000 electric customers in Kansas, has seen its cost for generating power more than double in
the past year. That increase comes as the Topeka-based utility also
is asking state regulators for permission to raise rates by 177
million dollars.

The fuel charge reflects the cost of the coal and natural gas used to run the company's power plants. It changes every month and is passed along to customers on their bills.

This month, the fuel cost is 4.1 cents per kilowatt hour, or $49.20 for the typical resident using 1,200 kilowatts of electricity. A year ago, the rate was 1.59 cents per kilowatt hour, or $19.08 for the same resident.

The Kansas Corporation Commission is holding three days of public hearings on Westar's request starting September 2nd and must
make a decision by January 23rd.

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

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