Hearing in Salina on Westar rate hike request

SALINA, Kansas (AP) – A public hearing is scheduled for this week in Salina on Westar Energy’s proposed increase in electric rates.

The hearing is set for Thursday evening at the Salina College Center at Kansas State University-Salina.

Westar has applied to the Kansas Corporation Commission for a 1.7 percent increase worth $31.7 million. The utility company says it needs the increase to meet federal requirements. Westar also wants to readjust rates so residential and small-business customers pay more while industrial consumers pay less.

Under the proposal, residential bills will increase nearly 9 percent, or about $7.50 a month for 900 kilowatt hours of usage. Bills for large industrial companies would drop about 8 percent.

Utility bills for public schools would also drop more than 7 percent.

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