Kansas Corporation Commission approves settlement agreement in Evergy rate case

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The Kansas Corporation Commission approved a proposed settlement agreement in the Evergy rate case Tuesday morning.

According to a news release from the KCC, the unanimous agreement, resolving all issues in the case, was submitted to the Commission on Sept. 29 following negotiations between KCC staff, Evergy, the Citizens Utility Ratepayer Board, and a variety of groups representing commercial, educational, and environmental interests.

In its Application, Evergy sought a net revenue increase of $204 million (9.77% increase) for Evergy Kansas Central (formerly Westar) and a net revenue increase of $14 million (1.95% increase) for Evergy Kansas Metro (formerly KCP&L). Under the approved settlement agreement, Evergy Kansas Central will receive a net revenue increase of $74 million (3.54% increase), and Evergy Kansas Metro will receive a net revenue decrease of $32.9 million (4.53% decrease).

The average monthly impact to residential customers will be an increase of $4.64 per month for Evergy Kansas Central customers and a decrease of $6.07 per month for Evergy Metro customers. The new rates will take effect based on the customer billing cycle date beginning December 21, 2023.

Evergy Kansas Central serves 736,000 customers in Topeka, Lawrence, Olathe, Leavenworth, Atchison, Manhattan, Salina, Hutchinson, Emporia, Parsons, Wichita, Arkansas City, El Dorado, Newton, Fort Scott, Pittsburg and Independence, among other towns and rural areas. Evergy Kansas Metro serves approximately 273,000 customers in Lenexa, Overland Park and other communities near the Kansas City metro area.

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Tuesday’s order states, “The Commission finds the agreed-upon rates will provide Evergy sufficient revenue to meet its financial obligations and provide safe and reliable service at just and reasonable rates to its customers. After considering all of the terms of the Unanimous Settlement Agreement, the Commission finds it is in the public interest.”

The settlement agreement also states Evergy may file an abbreviated rate case within 12 months of the current order to update rates to include Panasonic related distribution investment, Wolf Creek Decommissioning Trust adjustment, and investment in a new renewable generating resource to address 2024-2026 resource adequacy requirements supported by Evergy’s Integrated Resource Plan.

The Commission received comments from ratepayers at three public hearings held in July. In addition, the Commission also received 3,915 public comments through its Office of Public Affairs and Consumer Protection. The Commission noted that today’s decision was issued with due consideration of those comments.

Commissioners also considered the extensive evidentiary record in the docket including testimony from 57 witnesses, approximately 1,000 data requests, the joint motion in support of the settlement agreement and related testimony filed by parties in the docket. Having reviewed the record as a whole, the Commission finds the settlement agreement is supported by substantial, competent evidence.

Today’s order is available here.

A recording of Tuesday’s Business Meeting featuring comments by Commissioners, is available on the KCC YouTube channel.

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