For more information contact: Linda Berry, (785) 271-3269 or Samir Arif, (785) 271-3188
June 30, 2015
Kansas Corporation Commission Complaint Resolved with Refunds and Decreased Rates for Westar Customers
Topeka - Westar Energy, Inc. will refund approximately $10 million, and reduce rates by approximately $8 million per year once a settlement agreement related to a Kansas Corporation Commission (Commission) complaint is approved by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC).
"The Commission is pleased to announce that Westar customers will save about $50 million over the next five years because of the settlement agreement recently filed with the FERC. The Commission's complaint alleged that Westar was over-earning on its transmission investments. By settling the issue now, ratepayers will see about $10 million in refunds and about $8 million per year in rate reductions," said Commission Chair Shari Feist Albrecht.
The Commission filed its complaint (Docket Number EL14-93-000) with FERC on August 20, 2014 which objected to Westar's authorized 11.3% Return on Equity (ROE) on transmission line rates being unreasonably high. Under the terms of the settlement agreement, which must be approved by the FERC, the ROE will be reduced significantly, saving Kansas customers approximately $8 million per year, in addition to the initial refund of $10 million. Customers can expect to realize these savings beginning in February 2016.
The full text of the settlement agreement can be found at: http://kcc.ks.gov/electric/westar_settlment_EL14-93.pdf.
The full docket can be found at http://elibrary.FERC.gov/idmws/file_list.asp?accession_num=20150630-5459.
Westar Energy, Inc. is Kansas' largest electric utility. It provides electric service to nearly 700,000 customers and has 7,200 MW of electric generation capacity fueled by coal, wind, uranium, natural gas, and landfill gas.
The Kansas Corporation Commission regulates public utilities including telecommunications, natural gas, electric and water companies, and oil and gas producers. The Commission's regulatory oversight of public utilities primarily pertains to rates and terms of service. In order to ensure that customers of regulated utilities are provided sufficient and efficient service at just and reasonable rates, jurisdictional utilities may not change retail rates without Commission approval.