Kansas files complaint against Westar Energy

Westar Energy (KSN file photo)

WICHITA, Kansas (AP) – Kansas regulators have filed a complaint against Westar Energy Inc., alleging the utility is charging unjust and unreasonable electric transmission rates.

The Kansas Corporation Commission filed the complaint Wednesday with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission against the state’s largest electric utility.

The agency is objecting to what it called Westar’s unreasonably high return on equity in a formula that sets rates. But Westar contends the KCC’s action could cause Kansas to underinvest in critical high-voltage transmission infrastructure.

Westar President Mark Ruelle says in a news release that the company and the KCC “just have to agree to disagree.” He says Westar trusts the federal agency’s process for reviewing its concerns.

KCC says that Westar’s rates could be cut $15.8 million annually if the state prevails.

If the complaint is found to be valid, Westar would have to offer discounts to its customers of $15.8 million a year. The utility company serves about 700,000 customers. The rebate would be less than $2.00 per month, per customer.

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