TOPEKA (KSNT) – Kansas Evergy customers could see a marked increase in their monthly bill if a request by the energy company is approved.
Gina Penzig with Evergy said the company filed a request with the Kansas Corporation Commission (KCC) to recover investments made to improve service to customers. These improvements include a more reliable and resilient power grid and updated customer service systems.
Evergy has requested a net revenue increase of $204 million or a 9.77% overall rate increase for the Central Kansas service area, according to Penzig. If the full request to the KCC is approved, this will result in a monthly bill increase of $14.24 for the average customer. Around 736,000 customers of Evergy reside in the Central Kansas service area in cities like Topeka, Pittsburg, Wichita, Emporia, Manhattan and Hutchinson.
Another rate increase has been requested for customers in the Kansas City metro service area of $14 million or a 1.95% overall rate increase, according to Penzig. If this request is approved by the KCC, customers in this area could see an additional $3.47 added to their monthly Evergy bill. This would impact around 273,000 customers in the greater Kansas City metro area, Lenexa and Overland Park.
“We formed Evergy with a focus of reducing costs and making rates more affordable and competitive,” David Campbell, Evergy president and chief executive officer, said. “Over the past five years, we have made significant progress towards that goal.”
“Since 2018, our Kansas customers have received $232 million in merger savings and bill credits. We’ve exceeded our targeted merger savings and shared them with customers. Now, we are seeking to recover investments made to improve the electric grid and build a smarter, more reliable energy future for our Kansas customers,” Campbell said.
This comes shortly after Evergy announced that it would be increasing utility rates for Kansas customers in April. A monthly increase of $2.82 for two years is to be expected for residents in the Central Kansas area.
Penzig said the most significant driver of the rate increase request comes from infrastructure improvement aimed at enhancing reliability and resiliency. Upgrades are needed on the electric system as it ages to maintain its reliability and make it more resistant to severe weather.