Overview of Westar Rate Case (Docket No 15-WSEE-115-RTS)
Westar proposes to increase the monthly customer charge from $12 to $15 next year and additional $3 dollar increases yearly until the monthly customer charge reaches $27 in five years.
Westar is proposing to increase residential rates by 12.1% or about $9 per month for the average residential customer.
Westar is proposing three different rate designs for residential customers.
Customers with new solar panels will be forced to pay much higher rates.
Why: The primary driver is to recover the remaining costs of the $1.2 billion environmental upgrade at the La Cygne generation plant. Westar is also requesting cost recovery for expenditures at the Wolfcreek nuclear power plant as the plant life has been extended from 40 to 60 years. Westar is replacing its old residential meters with new digital meters.
Proposed Settlement (Joint Motion to Approve Stipulation and Agreement)
Are there models that are more "fair"?
There are many solutions to help utilities cover the necessary costs. Our case will be based on the idea that there is a better rate design which will allow utilities to recover all of their costs of service regardless of the amount of energy they sell. It's commonly called revenue decoupling.
SUBMITTING PUBLIC COMMENTS
KCPL proposes increasing the residential customer charge from $10.71 to $19.00. KCPL filed an application for a $67.3 million base rate increase. Base rates will increase about 10.5%.
Overall: KCPL estimates a typical residential customer will see average monthly bills increase by $11 to $12.
Why: The primary driver behind the rate increase is the environmental upgrade project at the La Cygne coal fired generation plant. Other costs include the repairs and outage costs at the Wolf Creek nuclear plant.
The KCC site explains the rate case in more detail here.
The KCP&L Public Hearing took place on May 18, 2015.
The Commission is no longer accepting written comments from KCP&L customersThe KCC decision on the KCPL Docket will be announced on September 10, 2015.