Study: Kansas has 23rd highest utility rates

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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) -- A recent study shows Kansas has a higher monthly utility rate than over two dozen states.

The sunflower state ranks as the 23rd most expensive state for monthly utility rates.

"Our electricity rates are slightly higher than the national average,” Westar spokesperson Jana Dawson said.

The study from move.org looks at the average cost per state of electricity, natural gas, internet, cable and water. Kansans pay an average of $422.06 a month.

The average monthly electricity cost is $110.69, gas averages to $112.37. Dawson says the company was an early adopter of clean energy, which drove up the costs.

"We decided it was the right thing to do to make those investments to improve our environmental quality,” explained Dawson. “About 60 percent of the cost increase you've seen over the past ten years have been related to emissions reductions and to make our environment cleaner."

They say their merger with KCP&L is helping offset the increase.

"We're a bigger company now,” said Dawson. “We can take advantage of the same economies of scale and that reduces our prices for our customers."

Residential customers got a $50 rebate in December and Dawson says there will be more to come. In the meantime, there are things you can do to cut electric and gas costs.

"Taking a look at when you're using your appliances and not using them at peak times,” said Dawson. “Using those electronic appliances later in the evening will help manage your costs.”

Current state rates are set for five years.

Hawaii has the highest utility rate in the country, Idaho has the lowest.