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What is your reaction to Westar increasing local energy rates?

Asked at Borders, 700 N.H. on December 29, 2005

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Photo of Kyle Waugh

“My reaction is negative. It’s extremely unfortunate for a lot of students and other people my age in the community.”

Photo of Halle O'Neal

“I’m concerned that this is only one of many increases. I’m not looking forward to paying extra for the same service.”

Photo of Carol Patterson

“I feel bad for the people who are already struggling to pay their energy bills. I think everybody is going through tough times, and this won’t help.”

Photo of Reggie Scott

“I actually have Kaw Valley, but I’m glad I’m not facing a rate hike. I think those guys make plenty of money. They should get a pay cut equivalent to whatever the rate increase is.”

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redbird 12 years, 2 months ago

With rate increases will ther be better services??? And what services??There are already etablished lines,allbeit the have to be repaired occassionally,these rate increases are ridiculous.Can they give you better electricity or cleaner electricity?? What do they think...that everyone is doing fine financially??!!! May this may be a way of paying thier recent legal fees ???!!! And Kyle it is unfortunate for "anyone" that is finacially struggling to pay for ridiculous utility rates,let alone have to figure out how to budget for these rate increases too...If they want to charge these rates then make sure none is without electricity,always...I have been in storms,around here,that the electricity blacked out,for no apparent reason,and was without power for hours,for no apparent reason.And for get about ranting to the company,it all falls on deaf ears,the same ears that these rates increases pay for ..........

Nikki May 12 years, 2 months ago

I'm angered. Yeah, I probably won't notice it, but the fact that they said they needed to raise rates to pay for being basically robbed, that makes me mad. I mean, really.

average 12 years, 2 months ago

The 'purchase cost adjustment' is frustrating in monopoly-provided utilities. Under the current yearly 'negotiated' rate, Westar has a profit incentive to find and invest in cheaper sources of energy, whether that's going to be hedging on fuel futures, building another coal plant, or, long-term, another nuke (the economics and public opinion are slowly swinging back that way).

Under the PCA, Westar has no such incentive. When they need more power, they'll just buy it from gas-fired peaking plants at 50c/kWH and pass the cost on. They make the exact same profit whether they are generating 5c/kWH power and selling it to you, or buying 50c power on the spot market. Why invest in the capacity infastructure?

Liberty 12 years, 2 months ago

Sounds like it is incentive for people to get creative and invent their way out of this problem instead of waiting for someone else to do it for them. Then the power companies will not be so ready to raise prices, but will have to try to get our business back. I can forsee the day that everybody has their own power source. But for now people will have to pay their price. Alternative energy is more expensive up front, but more freedom in the long run. Consider solar panels and a grid tie inverter to run your meter backwards when the sun shines.

neopolss 12 years, 2 months ago

I invested in a year's supply of canned beans, and will power my home with methane fuel. So no, I'm not mad.

sharron5rs 12 years, 2 months ago

How about the towns that buy their electricity from westar? What kind of increase will that be for them? They already pay more than Lawrence. Hope that makes your increase easier to take

killjoy 12 years, 2 months ago

We just need to put paddles on the roundabouts; as the cars go round they push a paddle that generates energy!

average 12 years, 2 months ago

If Bush gets serious about opening Yucca Mountain (and my feeling is he will the day after the '06 election), it will be the first meaningful energy policy this country has had in decades. I'm not the only otherwise liberal/enviromentalist who's willing to see advantages to nukes. Natural gas is running scant, and, sans nukes, we will burn more and dirtier coal and biomass to keep the (dumb) growth party going.

craigers 12 years, 2 months ago

offtotheright, if I am wrong please correct me, but the increase will be the $3.00 plus the tranportation/gas price fee that you will see in an extra line item on your invoice. This really stinks. I think the natural gas prices suck, let alone making our electricity even higher. It is nice they do this during the winter when they think we won't notice and then when we use more electricity in the summer the bill will really get jacked up.

Topside 12 years, 2 months ago

COMPLETE BS!!!!!! (Insert Pink Floyd "Money" here)

Digusting, just disugsting. The most disgraceful act of corporate fruad in Kansas probably ever, and of course, joe lunchbox gets to pay the bill for their corruption. I say let them go under and another energy company buy it out. OR, some other solution. Westar's corporate buddy system should not be "rewarded"......I'm so TO'd I can't think straight so I'll just stop. And, what's with Wichita getting decreased rates?

PS- Halle photographs well!

tir 12 years, 2 months ago

It's the pass-through energy costs that have me worried. There is no limit to how much Westar can charge consumers for those, and they will have no incentive to hold down fuel costs for their generating plants or to upgrade them and make them more energy efficient. Nice going, KCC, for opening the gates for the corporate raiders so they can pillage at will.

bankboy119 12 years, 2 months ago

At least on the Westar bill you guys don't have a $12.00 service fee. On KCP&L, we have to pay $12.00 per month just for the privilege of having their electricity.

italianprincess 12 years, 2 months ago

Just what everyone needs in another increase in their electric bill. I certainly don't, and I'm sure others feel the same way.

I'm offering overnight New Years care here at my daycare for those of you needing care so you can enjoy ringing in the New Year. If you are planning on going out email me at .......ItalianPrincessinCali@hotmail....

To many crazy drunk people out there on the road for me and with only one car ( mine and my son's driving it now ) I don't need mine to get smashed. Prices are good and I will be open from 7 pm until noon on New Years Day. This gives you time to sleep in the next day.

Have a great day everyone and drive safe.

bankboy119 12 years, 2 months ago

I just thought this was funny.

Painful Truth

A French parliamentarian who remarked publicly that people who aren't physically able to procreate could be a threat to the future of the species is the first person to be charged under new laws against homophobic speech, reports London's Daily Telegraph.

Christian Vanneste, a member of the ruling UMP party, could face jail time and thousands of euros in fines after being convicted of defaming homosexuals last week. Vanneste insists he did not say homosexuality was dangerous "only that it is inferior to heterosexuality and could, in extreme circumstances, become a danger to mankind."

The charges were leveled after three French gay rights groups called the remarks repugnant and said they could lead to physical attacks on gays.

Surprise Surprise

A California man explicitly denied entry to a national conference of social workers because of the color of his skin is not finding many people to champion his cause of discrimination, according to the Bakersfield Californian.

Brian Parnell complained to the IRS and the federal Department of Health and Human Services after he was turned away from a meeting of the National Association of Black Social Workers in New Orleans. Members of the group told him, after he flew across the country, that white folks were not allowed to attend the meeting.

But no one seems to care, he said, and he remains frustrated about his "inability to do anything about what was an obvious instance of racism." He wonders why an organization created to combat racism feels "justified in exercising racism themselves."

Ember 12 years, 2 months ago

They have us by teh marbles and they know they have a strong grip on them.

It's not suprising that they hiked things up again, although it is disgusting.

Would like to see if there are any pay raises for the higher ups in Westar after this is implemented, though. Would be kinda fun watching them try to explain that away after crying out so much that they just HAD to repairs things, and replace equipment and other such things.

beatrice 12 years, 2 months ago

Marion is right -- it is the liberals' fault. You see, President Bush promised us lower oil prices if we went into Iraq -- "To the victor go the spoils," or something like that, he said. Anyway, "Mission Accomplished" (hurray!), yet still higher oil prices. Why? The liberals. If it weren't for all the abortionist doctors and sodomites in this nation, God would have allowed us to have clean and clear access to all the rich Iraqi oil fields.

But that didn't happen, so it is clearly the fault of liberals, because all liberals are baby killers and against God. The rising prices have nothing to do with the greed or the lying of the oil-baron CEOs, people like Wittig, Ken Lay, Dick Cheney, etc. These CEOs care about the people, and the extra "service charges" help them help us. If they are allowed to live in the lap of luxury, we all benefit, because their excessive comfort allows them to make better decisions for the rest of us. Don't you all see that? It is trickle down economic comfort. The rising prices have nothing to do with them. No way no how. If it were up to the Wittigs of the world, we would all be living comfortably. Thus, the rising prices for energy is clearly the fault of the liberals.

By the way, Marion, mind if we bury the spent "nuculer" rods in your backyard? They will only be radioactive for just another 10,000 years. Nothing to worry about, really.

(This is Sarcasm Day, isn't it?)

galfromku 12 years, 2 months ago

I don't care WHOSE fault it is... it sucks! Every bill I have is going up, but my wages aren't. The extra $35 a month literally makes me wonder how I will make ends meet. It just sucks!

Liberty 12 years, 2 months ago


While I do not claim to be 'green', being free of a monthly bill or having the ability to lower it is still a good idea. A solar electric system has all of the costs up front compared to 20 years of electric bills.

A xantrex 3kw unit that automatically switches the power comes at a approx. cost of $1800. No batteries are needed with these systems. Only solar panels are needed and some breakers. You can get 125w or so solar panels that will produce for 20 years and probably longer. 8 solar panels would have at least some effect on lowering your electric bill. You can buy 8 of them for $4400. (I agree that solar panels are very expensive, but they do last a long time with little or no up keep).

That is close to one thousand watts of power pouring back into an inverter on a sunny day. If you are using the power (this should reduce your power useage from the electric company by how much your system is producing), it will direct the excess power that you are not using back into the grid for your neighbor to use and further lower your bill.

You are correct on installation cost, but it may be worth it (Or if you have the knowledge to work with electricity safely and these devices, do it yourself). Just imagine if more of the people did this, electric demand would be in reverse and prices would have reason to be more reasonable. Just something to think about...

beatrice 12 years, 2 months ago

Sources? I don't need no stinking sources!!

I don't have the exact quote, but I do recall that either just prior or just after the war began, Bush talked about those who sacrificed would be the ones who gained from the rebuilding of the country. I paraphrased the "spoils" -- or should I say "spOILS" comment -- as suggested in my earlier post. Anyway, whether I am right or wrong on this, it doesn't matter since the rising prices are still the fault of all liberals for wanting to wish everyone a "Happy Holiday" instead of "Merry Christmas."

We are nearing 80 degrees in Phoenix today. No problems with heating costs here. It must be the heat emminating from the spent rods coming from the nuclear power plant nearby.

omb: one million years leading to Planet of the Apes -- shame on you for bringing up the evolution debate again.

blessed3x 12 years, 2 months ago

Coal and oil are too dirty, nuclear too dangerous, hydroelectric alters fish habitats, no matter how green the voter they always seem to vote down wind and solar anywhere that's too close to home. What's left?

Did someone mention beans and methane earlier?

Now where'd I put that organic, non-animal fat, hemp wick candle?

1derer 12 years, 2 months ago

I see bea has finally seen the light and converted, can't wait for the baptismal celebration HA

$3.00 per household, another big HA. Maybe if your house is 150 square feet. I'm still reeling from the increase on my gas bill.

Staci Dark Simpson 12 years, 2 months ago

Get a boiler type outdoor wood stove. We bought a house with one and it is priceless. Our gas bill was only 31 bucks. We have only had to put one day of effort into woodcutting so far, thanks to a fairly mild winter. They are fairly expensive but in the long run we will save hundreds. I think the rate hikes are friggin' ridiculous. Maybe if wages went up as fast as the cost of living did we would be ok. Or Lawrence folks could drive to KC and get the same job but get paid 2-3 bucks more an hour.

rhd99 12 years, 2 months ago

I don't think it's fair, but this happened because of WITTIG & LAKE. If these two nimrods didn't squander the vast amounts of money Westar earned over the years, Westar would not require this increase. The current CEO is doing what he can to right the Wittig & Lake WRONGS. Is this the best solution? By far, the answer is NO.

brasshat 12 years, 2 months ago

Be careful with regard to variances between different manufacturers' solar panel systems as well. The quality and effectiveness of certain components, such as isolation or blocking diodes for the panel segments, makes a big difference.

For example, those diodes will isolate cell panels which produce a load on the system, and can mean the difference between your system either continuing to run at less-than-optimal efficiency or sustaining severe damage. A panel can create a resistance load if it is partially covered, perhaps by a tree branch blocking the Sun at some point during the day or the like.

Installation expenses are not cheap either. Also, Kansas does not offer the level of incentives available in states such as Illinois, New York, New Jersey, California, etc; while those states offer significant tax and/or installation grant incentives, Kansas only offers a property tax exemption on the value of the system--a far cry from the thousands of dollars other states offer to ease the capital expenses at the time of installation.

All roadblocks and concerns considered, that hasn't stopped many from becoming "early adopters." As more and more people use the technology, the more competition and innovation will drive costs down. A simple web search will demonstrate the sheer number of recent start-up companies dealing in solar technology, and there are large corporate manufacturers (also energy companies--BP and Texaco to name a couple) in the field, as well as some smaller companies with some very innovative technologies and approaches.

Here are some links for some PV companies (some do not yet have resellers in Kansas, though there are sometimes options in neighboring states), as well as some generic information resources: (Texaco holds a share in this company)


donsalsbury 12 years, 2 months ago

hmmmmmmm....I wonder if Westar is hiring...

sunflower_sue 12 years, 2 months ago

This is when it gets really fun to be all electric...and paying Westar. I'm going to go get a margarita (but I'll open and close the fridge really fast.) Lights out everybody! Cold showers from now on.

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