KCC rules against Westar lease-purchase agreement and related rate increase; announces rate hearing for Atmos Featured

KCC rules against Westar lease-purchase agreement and related rate increase; announces rate hearing for Atmos Kansas Corporation Commission logo

The Kansas Corporation Commission has issued a ruling in one case involving a major utility while it plans a hearing in a separate case impacting another utility.


The KCC denied Westar Energy's request to have ratepayers carry the cost of a seven-month lease and later purchase of an 8-percent interest in the Jeffrey Energy Center near St. Marys. The KCC says approval would mean roughly $93 million in rate increases over 15 years.

KCC said Westar did not demonstrate the lease-purchase agreement was a solid decision for retail customers. It also said Westar knew it did not need the 8-percent portion of the energy center to satisfy capacity needs and it knew the settlement agreement would boost rates.

Westar can still operate the 8-percent portion of Jeffrey for wholesales and it can retain revenues resulting from that part of the plant.

Separately, KCC has announced a public hearing for Tuesday in Overland Park to hear from Atmos Energy on a $7.1 million rate increase request. Atmos wants to install a pilot System Integrity Program Mechanism, which would speed up the process of replacing outdated materials across the state and also set the stage for quarterly rate updates for approved projects once completed.

If approved, the average monthly bill for residential customers will increase by $3.83 a month or over 13 percent.

The hearing is at 6 pm at the KU Edwards Campus BEST Conference Center in Overland Park. A decision should be announced by late February.

Atmos currently serves over 130,000 customers in Kansas, including residents of Chase, Coffey, Greenwood and Morris counties.

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Last modified on Friday, 13 September 2019 09:30
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