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Kansas Regulators Start Westar Rate Hearings

Kansas state regulators will begin hearings Monday on a plan to raise electricity rates for Westar Energy customers by $78 million. That would be $5 to $7 per month for the average home.The proposal is a compromise reached between Westar and other parties.
Westar had originally wanted a $150 million rate hike for Kansas electricity customers. The increase will pay for power plant upgrades and some work on the electric grid.
The compromise was reached between Westar, advocates for consumers and other interested parties. David Springe, with the Citizens’ Utility Ratepayer Board, says the Kansas Corporation Commission could handle things a couple different ways.
“They can look at the agreement as it sits and say ‘yes, we agree that this is a reasonable resolution of this case.’ Or, they can throw the agreement out and say ‘we don’t like that agreement, that’s not what we want to do,” says Springe.
Springe says it’s pretty rare for regulators to reject a compromise like this reached by all sides. The KCC has until late October to make a final decision.

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