KCC Approves $30.7M Westar Rate Increase

By: AP/WIBW (Posted by Melissa Brunner)
By: AP/WIBW (Posted by Melissa Brunner)

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP/WIBW) _ The Kansas Corporation Commission has formally approved Westar Energy's rate increase request, signing off on a $30.7 million settlement reached in September.

Regulators announced the unanimous approval of the settlement Thursday. The deal was brokered by Westar, KCC staff and the Citizens' Utility Ratepayer Board. The increases in electric utility bills will take effect Dec. 1.

Customers will see the increase in the residential service charge portion of the bill. It will go up $3 a month.

Westar applied for the rate increase mostly to pay for required environmental upgrades at its La Cygne power plant in eastern Kansas.

Gov. Sam Brownback used the rate decision to lash out at the Environmental Protection Agency.

"Kansans are now feeling increase energy costs due to expensive regulations handed down by the Environmental Protection Agency," Brownback said in a statement. "Kansas homeowners, businesses, and schools are hurting to pay for the decisions being made in Washington, D.C."

Under terms of the settlement, residential customers will get the biggest increase, $18 million, followed by small businesses with a $12.7 million increase.

Westar is the largest utility company in Kansas with nearly 700,000 customers and 7,200 megawatts of electricity generating capacity.


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