Westar Plan Would Raise Residential Rates

By: KAKE News, Posted by Chelsey Moran
By: KAKE News, Posted by Chelsey Moran

WICHITA, Kan. (KAKE)--Westar Energy is proposing raising the rates on residential and small business customers and lowering the rates for large businesses.

In April, Westar filed an application with the Kansas Corporation Commission asking for a $31.7 million, or 1.7%, revenue increase for their retail electric customers. According to Westar, the increase relates to costs incurred to meet Environmental Protection Agency requirements.

The Westar proposal also includes a "re-balance" of costs among customer types. The following changes are in the proposal:

Residential bills will increase $62 million (8.77%),
Small General Service bills will increase $21.5 million (6.18%),
Medium General Service bills will decrease $18.5 million (6%),
High Load Factor Industrial bills will decrease $17.4 million (8.38%),
Public School bills will decrease $3.6 million (7.61%),
and two special contract customers' combined bills will decrease $10.6 million (15.1%).

Residential customers with average monthly consumption of 900 kilowatt hours of electricity would have an average monthly increase of $7.50.

The Citizens' Utility Ratepayer Board is opposing the changes, saying it's unfair to raise rates on small customers to pay for millions of dollars of cuts for the big users.

A public hearing on the proposed rate increase is scheduled for Thursday, July 11th at 6 p.m. at the Kansas Corporation Commission at 1500 SW Arrowhead.

Comments may also be submitted by email at public.affairs@kcc.ks.gov, or by calling 1-800-662-0027 or (785) 271-3140. Public comments received during the public comment period will be entered into the record in the docket.

Ultimately, the Kansas Corporation Commission will decide whether to grant, deny, or modify the company's proposal.

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