Advertisement

Archive for Thursday, July 11, 2013

Editorial: Rising rates

July 11, 2013

Advertisement

Running that air conditioner during the triple-digit-temperature days of summer apparently is about to get more costly for homeowners and small businesses ­— and cheaper for big business.

If the Kansas Corporation Commission, which has been having its own problems of late, agrees with a rate request from Westar Energy, that’s exactly what’s going to happen. A public hearing on the matter is scheduled tonight in Topeka.

“Small-business owners, those people up and down Massachusetts Street, should be hopping mad,” said David Springe, consumer counsel for the Citizens Utility Ratepayer Board, which objects to the rate shift.

A KCC that should be red-faced about its own internal problems is considering Westar rate hikes that will hammer small businesses and residential customers while lowering rates for large businesses. The increased revenue will allow Westar and Kansas City Power & Light to lock onto about $38 million for improvements at the LaCygne power plant. Westar maintains that the rate shift is being done in fairness to large users who supposedly are paying more than their fair share.

This particular request from Westar is one in a series of approved and pending increases that accelerated starting in 2009. They involved general rates, transmission line rates, environmental rates, energy efficiency rates, a property tax surcharge, “wind costs in fuel charges,” and others. Assuming it’s authorized, along with the other pending requests, typical Lawrence residential customers will see their electric bills go from $123 a month in 2008 to $196 this year.

Written comments will be accepted from the public by the KCC through Sept. 23.

Springe, who contends the rate request is way out of line, is urging consumers to make their concerns known. Hey, it can’t hurt!

Comments

imastinker 9 months ago

Why is it that "fairness" is being determined as not raising the rates on those with fixed incomes? I see "fairness" as everyone paying the rate that represents the cost to provide that service. For example, rural customers are probably being compensated by urban customers due to lower line losses, lower transformer consumption per kw, and less maintenance per customer on the line.

0

FastEddy 9 months, 1 week ago

I hope the left knows who to blame when the Obama "War on Coal" swings into full assault mode. Rates will go through the roof. Will you still blame West Star?

1

oneeye_wilbur 9 months, 1 week ago

And yet the J W supports the increase in taxes by the county, the fees by the city, the tax increase from the school district. JW is hypocritical.

0

Michael LoBurgio 9 months, 1 week ago

Westar Energy says change based on fairness

Looks fair to me if you're not a

Residential Costumer $62 million [increase] or

Small business million $21.5 million [increase]

Proposed rate changes by customer type

Residential: $62 million [increase]

Small business: $21.5 million [increase]

Medium business: $18.5 million decrease

Industrial: $17.4 million decrease

Special contract: $9.7 million decrease

Education: $3.5 million decrease

http://cjonline.com/news/business/2013-07-09/electricity-rate-shift-worries-some-older-kansans

0

mikeloburgio 9 months, 1 week ago

Westar Energy says change based on fairness

Looks fair to me if you're not a

Residential Costumer $62 million [increase] or

Small business million $21.5 million [increase]

Proposed rate changes by customer type

Residential: $62 million [increase]

Small business: $21.5 million [increase]

Medium business: $18.5 million decrease

Industrial: $17.4 million decrease

Special contract: $9.7 million decrease

Education: $3.5 million decrease

http://cjonline.com/news/business/2013-07-09/electricity-rate-shift-worries-some-older-kansans

0

fmrl 9 months, 1 week ago

Forgot to mention the $9 monthly "customer charge."

0

Michael LoBurgio 9 months, 1 week ago

Westar Energy says change based on fairness

Looks fair to me if you're not a

Residential Costumer $62 million [increase] or

Small business million $21.5 million [increase]

Proposed rate changes by customer type

Residential: $62 million [increase]

Small business: $21.5 million [increase]

Medium business: $18.5 million decrease

Industrial: $17.4 million decrease

Special contract: $9.7 million decrease

Education: $3.5 million decrease

http://cjonline.com/news/business/2013-07-09/electricity-rate-shift-worries-some-older-kansans

'Americans for Austerity' The new tea party rallying cry.

0

no_thanks 9 months, 1 week ago

Westar continues to milk consumers as coal and natural gas prices are near all time low, yet my bill still reflects high "full surcharges". Coal is purchased on a long term contract so their shouldn't be much variability. Gas is the swing fuel, and either they are extremely poor fuel buyers, or we re getting fleeced. Further, they are guaranteed a minimum Return on Equity, thus they have no incentive to reduce expenses as they will be able to normalize rates, over time, to earn the ROE. It's one of the many challenges of dealing with a monopoly.

2

Mike1949 9 months, 1 week ago

What do the people on fixed incomes do? Is Westar going to help those people out, let them die off?

0

Commenting has been disabled for this item.