Westar Scales Back Rate Hike Request

The largest electric company in Kansas has reached an agreement with a consumer advocacy agency and other parties to scale back a proposed increase in the utility’s annual rates to $78 million.

Westar Energy Inc. announced Thursday that it had a settlement with the Citizens’ Utility Ratepayers Board, the staff of the Kansas Corporation Commission and all other parties in its rate case. Westar had sought a $152 million rate increase.

The KCC sets utility rates and must sign off on the deal.

Westar had said it needed a rate increase primarily to cover costs already incurred for power plant improvements mandated by federal air pollution standards.

The company said that under the agreement households will see their electric bills rise between $5 and $7 a month.