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At Worldwide Energy we have noticed a trend over the last few months – utility rates are climbing in the foreseeable future. February 27, KCP&L filed a 15% rate increase application with Missouri regulators. April 21, KCP&L made a similar rate request (12.9%) for Kansas customers.
Here are a few excerpts from The Kansas City Star’s most recent article on KCP&L’s rate increase requests:
KCP&L seeks 12.9 percent rate increase in Kansas
Average customer would pay $150 more a year for electricity. Utility has similar request pending in Missouri.
KCP&L on Friday asked regulators to raise rates by 12.9 percent for its customers in Kansas.
The request, if approved by the Kansas Corporation Commission, would raise annual revenues by $63.6 million and raise an average residential electric bill by nearly $150 a year.
Jim Zakoura, an Overland Park lawyer who represents large Kansas commercial users of electricity, said the request filed Friday was hard to accept, especially after several rate increases from 2007 to 2011.
“Every effort must be made to manage cost, or large-volume users can’t remain competitive,” he said.
David Springe, head of the Citizens’ Utility Ratepayer Board in Topeka, which represents consumers on utility issues, said electric bills for KCP&L’s Kansas customers had already climbed about 55 percent since 2007.
A residential customer using 1,500 kilowatts a month has seen monthly bills rise from $116.18 in 2007 to $179.66 in 2011, Springe said. The increases include higher electricity rates, and higher fuel costs that the utility has been allowed to pass through to customers.
“This is going to be a hard pill for consumers, and we’re going to take a hard look and try to convince the commission to trim it,” Springe said.
Regulators pre-approved the environmental upgrades, Springe said, so that part of the rate increase will essentially be automatic unless the utility is found to have been imprudent in spending on the upgrades.
By Steve Everly
The Kansas City Star
To read the full story, click here