Archive for Thursday, September 11, 2008

Westar rates won’t increase in Eudora

September 11, 2008

Although Westar Energy is seeking a $178 million rate increase, rates for Eudora customers will not change.

City Administrator Cheryl Beatty said the city has a wholesale contract with the Topeka-based energy company through 2013 that will keep its rates to the city the same.

Westar has more than 670,000 customers in Lawrence, eastern and southcentral Kansas.

The company is seeking a 15 percent rate increase, which comes out to about $10 more per month on the average residential bill. The proposal is before the Kansas Corporation Commission, which must rule by Jan. 23.

Westar says it needs the rate increase because it has invested more than $1.2 billion in new generation, transmission, facility upgrades and emission controls. Under the proposal, the rates would allow Westar to make a 10.95 percent shareholder profit.

Though the city's contract with Westar is good for five more years, the city would start negotiating the next contract as soon as possible, Beatty said.

- Scott Rothschild contributed to this report.

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