State agency seeks smaller Westar rate increase

TOPEKA, Kansas (AP) – A Kansas consumer advocate agency says Westar Energy Inc. can get by with a smaller rate increase and still be able to make necessary environmental improvements at its power plants.

David Springe, an attorney for the Citizens Utility Ratepayers Board, filed testimony Wednesday with the Kansas Corporation Commission saying Westar could reduce its rate increase request by $1 million and still accomplish its goals.

Westar, the largest electric utility in Kansas, is seeking a $31.7 million rate increase from its customers. The utility is seeking the increase to pay for $1.2 billion in environmental upgrades at its LaCygne plant in eastern Kansas.

CURB also argues against Westar’s plan to shift the burden of the increase away from large businesses to residential customers.

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