electricity

Flickr: MG Green creative commons

Solar panel users in Kansas continue to pay higher electricity bills as they wait for utility company Evergy to keep a promise made during this year’s legislative session to remove a recently added fee.

Evergy says it will follow through on the promise by the end of May. But state regulators ultimately hold the power to decide whether or not to approve the request to change some solar customers’ rates.

Coal Power Plant - Lawrence Energy Center
Brian Grimmett

Wind is beginning to challenge coal’s status as the primary energy source for electricity produced in Kansas.

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.

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.

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.

Michael Mazengarb / flickr Creative Commons

A couple dozen people showed up Tuesday night in Topeka to voice their concerns about Westar Energy’s proposed rate increase.

Westar is asking the Kansas Corporation Commission to increase prices by about $52 million. That's after taking into account savings from changes to the federal corporate income tax.

The increase would cost the average Westar customer about $5.90 a month.

Crysta Henthorne / Kansas News Service

Perhaps conserving energy is important to you. You’ve switched out all of your incandescent light bulbs with LEDs. You keep your thermostat set at 78 in the summer. You might even get mad at your kids when they leave a light on.

Your neighbor, on the other hand, isn’t quite as concerned. He keeps the thermostat set consistently at 68 and he hasn’t replaced any of his light bulbs because, in his words, who wants to pay $10 for a new one?

Brian Grimmett / KMUW

  

Early on the morning of March 16, wind provided 60 percent of the region’s electric needs. That number set a record, breaking an earlier one set only a week and a half earlier.

Wind power also recently set records for highest peak generation at 15,690 MW and continuously sustained generation of more than 13,000 MW for three days.

Brian Grimmett / Kansas News Service

A resolution pending in the Kansas Legislature would urge, but not require, state regulators to make electric rates more competitive.

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