Kansas Regulators Review Deal on Boosting Westar's Rates
TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Kansas regulators are reviewing an agreement that would allow the state's largest electric company to increase its rates by $78 million a year. The Kansas Corporation Commission has opened hearings today (MON) on the deal between Topeka-based Westar Energy, a consumer advocacy board and other parties. State law gives the three-member KCC until October 28 to issue an order revising Westar's rates. The utility has said that under the agreement, most households would see their electric bills rise between $5 and $7 a month. Westar has nearly 700,000 customers in Kansas. The company initially sought an annual rate increase of $152 million, largely to cover costs already incurred for power plant upgrades. But consumer advocates and the KCC's own staff objected.