Wednesday, February 15, 2012
Kansas Corporation Commission members say they will scrutinize Westar Energy's contention that its shareholders need to make a 10 percent return on their investment in the utility.
The issue was raised during testimony Monday and Tuesday concerning the utility's request for a rate increase.
A settlement reached between Westar, the KCC staff and the company's large commercial and industrial customers would give Westar a $50 million rate increase. The request includes a shareholder return of 10 percent. The utility says it needs that rate to attract and keep investors.
The consumer advocacy group, Citizens' Utility Ratepayer Board, is challenging the proposed settlement, which would raise residential utility bills between 5 and 6.5 percent. The group wants to lower the 10 percent down to 8.85 percent and throw out $13 million in executive management bonuses.
"Trimming shareholder profits, throwing out executive bonuses. Those are areas where we can trim and keep the rates down as far as we can. But at the end of the day, people have to be involved," said David Springe, consumer counsel for CURB.
The commission is required to set Westar's new rates by April 23.
To contact the Kansas Corporation Commission, you can email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 1-800-662-0027.
For a list of legislators, click here.
For more information about the Westar Energy application, click here.