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Kansas Regulators Reviewing Westar’s Rates

Associated Press - August 17, 2015 5:37 am

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 was opening hearings Monday on the deal between Topeka-based Westar Energy Inc., a state consumer advocacy board and other parties.

State law gives the three-member KCC until Oct. 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.