- When: Wednesday, September 3, 2008, 7 p.m.
- Where: Kansas Corporation Commission, 1500 S.W. Arrowhead Road, Topeka
- More on this event....
Topeka Westar Energy customers who want to get their two cents in on the company's proposed $178 million electric rate increase will have the opportunity this evening.
The Kansas Corporation Commission will have a public hearing at 7 p.m. at its headquarters at 1500 SW Arrowhead Road.
The meeting will have two parts. During the first part, Westar officials will present the increase proposal and answer any questions from the public. During the second part, members of the public will be able to testify to the KCC about the request.
The proposed rate increase would raise average residential electric customer bills by about $10 per month.
Westar has said the proposed increase is based on investments the company has made in new natural gas plants, wind energy and the costs of restoring service after the December 2007 ice storm.
The company has stated it has spent $1.2 billion for new facilities, transmission lines and emission controls since its last rate increase in 2004.
But Sonny Scroggins, head of Bias Busters and an advocate for the poor, said Kansans already are overburdened with rising food and fuel costs.
"By allowing the increase, this adverse action could mean families having to choose between purchasing needed medication, putting food on the table or keeping the lights on," Scroggins said.
Scroggins said the KCC shouldn't grant more than half of the requested rate hike.
The KCC also will accept written comments from Westar customers through Sept. 15. Comments should reference Docket No. 08-WSEE-1041-RTS and be sent to the Kansas Corporation Commission, Office of Public Affairs and Consumer Protection, 1500 SW Arrowhead Road, Topeka, KS 66604-4027. Comments also may be submitted by e-mail at email@example.com or by calling (800) 662-0027.
A decision in the rate case by the KCC must be made by Jan. 23, 2009.