Westar standing by Kansas rate increase request

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — Officials from the largest electric utility in Kansas are vowing to press on with its request for $31.7 million in rate hikes for some customers across the state, including plans to modify rates for low-income customers.

Westar Energy Inc. is asking the Kansas Corporation to approve the request, which would shift the burden of rates away from larger, industrial customers. The Wichita Eagle (http://bit.ly/14VzuNM ) reports Monday that critics of Westar’s request say the new proposals for low-income and new startup businesses would expand what is supposed to be a narrowly focused rate request.

Westar is seeking the rate increase to pay for $1.2 billion in upgrades to satisfy Environmental Protection Agency regulations. Westar serves nearly 700,000 customers in eastern and central Kansas, including the cities of Topeka, Wichita and Pittsburg.

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Information from: The Wichita (Kan.) Eagle, http://www.kansas.com

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