Evergy could be increasing your monthly bill by nearly $15
WICHITA, Kan. (KAKE) - Evergy could soon increase your electric bill by nearly $15 a month. The company is asking the Kansas Corporation Commission to approve the hike.
A spokesperson for Evergy says the $14.24 increase in your bill will go toward covering the costs of investments made to improve services to customers. One of those improvements was a more reliable and resilient power grid, put into place five years ago.
Experts we talked to say this proposed increase was expected, because Evergy hasn't asked for one in five years. Despite that, customers aren't pleased.
"Honestly, it doesn't surprise me. I'm surprised it's only $15,” said Karen Labrum, a Wichita resident.
"I’m on level pay. My bill normally was right around $185 a month. And then just this last year it got bumped to $253. So, $15 doesn't seem so bad actually,” admitted Labrum.
"I think that's a little bit extravagant. I mean, I haven't increased my usage, I don't know why it has to go up,” said Evergy user James Craig.
Evergy spokesperson Gina Penzig tried to explain the rate hike.
"We agreed that for five years, we would not ask for a base rate increase. But at the end of that time, we would submit a rate application to the commission. And so that five years has ended. It's been five years since we've had a base rate review and increase," she said.
Evergy's website shows an $880-million profit in 2021. This was an increase of about $160-million from the year before.
David Nickel, Consumer Counsel for the Citizens' Utility Ratepayer Board, or CURB, says this rate increase request was expected. He hasn't read through the paperwork, but says CURB always advocates for the best rates for customers.
"CURB will take a very stern look at all of the data and all of the expenses that are contained in the application as it has been filed. Historically, CURB has come in to try to lower rates,” said Nickel.
Evergy admitted that they understands any bill increase is difficult. They will try to work with the consumer to keep costs low. The increase could come in early 2024 if it is approved.