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AARP Kansas Reiterates Its Opposition to Westar Energy's Latest Rate-Hike Request


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-- Through Tuesday, August 11th, the Kansas Corporation Commission is accepting on-the-record comments about this proposed rate increase (Docket No. 15-WSEE-115-RTS).  For more information, visit kcc.state.ks.us and aarp.org/ks. --

(State Sen. Oletha Faust-Goudeau [D - District 29]):
"
WESTAR ENERGY'S CURRENT RATE-HIKE REQUEST--OF ROUGHLY 150-MILLION DOLLARS--WOULD BE ITS 22ND INCREASE, SINCE 2009.  AND, OVER THE LAST FIVE YEARS, THESE INCREASES HAVE RESULTED IN CUSTOMERS PAYING 50-PERCENT MORE FOR THEIR ELECTRICITY.  RESIDENTIAL CUSTOMERS WOULD BE HIT THE HARDEST, UNDER THIS REQUEST--AS THEY WOULD FACE A RATE-HIKE OF JUST OVER 12-PERCENT.  WHAT'S MORE, THE 10-PERCENT SHAREHOLDER-PROFIT THAT WOULD BE ALLOWED THROUGH THIS PROPOSAL IS EXCESSIVE."

(Maren [as in "Karen"] Turner, AARP Kansas Director):
"
OUR BIGGEST CONCERN IS THAT THIS PROPOSAL WOULD HINDER CUSTOMERS' ABILITY TO SAVE ON THEIR ENERGY-COSTS BY REDUCING THEIR CONSUMPTION:  HIGHER MANDATORY FEES FORCE HIGHER COSTS DISPROPORTIONATELY ONTO THE PEOPLE WHO USE THE LEAST ELECTRICITY; THAT MEANS THAT PEOPLE WITH LOWER INCOMES END UP PAYING MORE.  WE ACTUALLY SURVEYED OLDER KANSANS ABOUT THIS ISSUE IN JUNE, AND FOUND THAT ALMOST 80-PERCENT OPPOSE EFFORTS TO INCREASE THESE MANDATORY CHARGES--WHILE AN EVEN-GREATER PERCENTAGE OF RESPONDENTS BELIEVE THAT AN INCREASE IN THEIR UTILITY-BILL WOULD BE A SIGNIFICANT PROBLEM."



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