Westar Energy

Kansas News Service/File photo

Kansas utility regulators approved rates for Westar Energy that will lower many customers' monthly election bills.

The rate schedule approved Thursday by the Kansas Corporation Commission would lower monthly bills for residential customers by about $3.80 a month.

The rate decrease will not apply to most people who have installed solar panels or other self-generating devices. Those customers will be charged additional fees that Westar says are necessary so those customers pay their fair share of maintaining the power grid.

Carla Eckels / KMUW

After a public outcry last week, Westar Energy is taking another look at addressing concerns about electric poles being installed in some residents' front yards.

Westar’s plan is to upgrade the entire transmission system, including in near-northeast Wichita. The plan includes large metal poles, about 105 feet high, planted in more than 50 yards.

Brian Grimmett / Kansas News Service

New Trump administration rules aimed at protecting the coal industry reverse Obama-era regulations on greenhouse gases by letting states set their own rules.

That means Kansas regulators could clear the way for more coal, but economic trends have already driven a shift to natural gas and wind power.

Brian Grimmett

Evergy, the company formed in the merger between Westar Energy and Great Plains Energy, has announced the official retirement dates of several older power plants.

Tecumseh Energy Center, near Topeka, and two units at Gordon Evans Energy Center in Colwich will shut down on Oct. 1. Those will be followed by the last two units at Murray Gill Energy Center outside of Wichita on Nov. 1.

Kansas News Service/File photo

Westar has reached an agreement with staff of the Kansas Corporation Commission and several other interested parties that would reduce Westar’s annual revenue by $66 million.

For the average residential customer, that will mean a decrease of about $3.50 a month.

Westar's original request was for a $52 million increase.

Michael Mazengarb / flickr Creative Commons

Solar energy advocates protested Westar Energy’s latest rate proposal Thursday and are lobbying state regulators to deny it.

The proposal would create a separate billing class for people who install solar panels on their homes. The change could effectively increase a typical solar user’s bill by as much as 50 percent.

Kansas News Service/File photo

Kansas consumer advocates are recommending state utility regulators reject Westar Energy's request for a $17.2 million rate increase and instead order the company to cut rates.

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Two environmental groups will be allowed to intervene in a rate case involving Westar, which wants to impose higher fees on customers who install solar panels on their homes.

The Kansas Corporation Commission on Thursday said the Sierra Club and a group called Vote Solar may intervene in the case but must consolidate their testimony and evidence. They also cannot submit repetitive testimony or briefs.

Courtesy of Westar

Two Westar Energy employees have died from injuries received while working at the company’s largest power plant, which remained closed Monday.

Operations supervisors Craig Burchett and Jesse Henson were burned when a piece of equipment with high-pressure steam broke about 11:30 a.m. Sunday, Westar officials said. The two were airlifted from Jeffrey Energy Center to the University of Kansas Medical Center in Kansas City, Kansas, where they died Sunday evening.

Scott Canon / Kansas News Service

Westar Energy and Great Plains Energy, the parent company of Kansas City Power & Light Co., won approval from state regulators Thursday to merge as equals.

That clears the way for a combined company worth $14 billion serving more than 1.6 million customers in Kansas and Missouri.

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