TOPEKA, Kan. (KAKE) - After months of negotiating, the Kansas Corporation Commission (KCC) has approved a proposed settlement agreement to allow Evergy to raise electric rates for customers in the Kansas Central and Metro service areas.

The impact to customers will be a $4.64 per month average increase for Kansas Central customers, while there will be a decrease of $6.07 per month for Metro customers. Under the approved agreement, Kansas Central will receive a net revenue increase of $74 million (3.54% increase), and Kansas Metro will receive a net revenue decrease of $32.9 million (4.53% decrease). The new rates will take effect based on the customer billing cycle date beginning December 21, 2023.

In a statement, the KCC says that the order, issued Tuesday, "finds the agreed-upon rates will provide Evergy sufficient revenue to meet its financial obligations and provide safe and reliable service at just and reasonable rates to its customers. After considering all of the terms of the Unanimous Settlement Agreement, the Commission finds it is in the public interest.”

The settlement agreement also states that Evergy may file an abbreviated rate case within 12 months of the current order to update rates to include investments related to Panasonic's new Johnson County facility, an adjustment for the decommissioning trust for the Wolf Creek Generating Station in Coffey County, and investment in a new renewable generating resource to address 2024-2026 resource adequacy requirements supported by Evergy’s Integrated Resource Plan.

An Evergy spokesperson said all costs related to directly serving Panasonic are being paid for by Panasonic.

"If we pursue an abbreviated rate case in 2024, it will be related to the acquisition of additional wind energy for our Kansas customers," the spokesperson said. "In the event that an abbreviated rate case occurs in 2024, we do not anticipate anything in that case related to serving Panasonic."

The Commission received comments from ratepayers at three public hearings held in July. In addition, the Commission also received nearly 4,000 public comments through its Office of Public Affairs and Consumer Protection.