Consumer advocates recommend Westar rate cuts

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LAWRENCE — 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.

The Lawrence Journal-World reports employees of the Kansas Corporation Commission and the Citizens Utility Ratepayer Board recommended this week that the commission cut Westar rates for customers by at least $69 million. The board, or CURB, is a state agency representing consumers in utility rate cases.

Westar provides service to about 700,000 customers in Kansas. The company has filed a rate request that translates to an increase of $2.80 a month for the average residential customer.

But KCC staff and CURB are urging regulators to reject the idea that Westar needs any overall rate increase.

Westar is expected to submit a rebuttal July 2.

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