OVERLAND PARK, Kan. — Evergy customers on the Kansas side could see their bills climb soon.

The utility provider has asked state regulators to approve new rate hikes. If approved, the new rates could go into effect later this year.

Customers can learn more and express their concerns about proposed Evergy rate increases at 6 p.m. Thursday at the KU Edwards Campus in Overland Park.

Evergy requested approval for these new rates back in April. It hasn’t requested an increase in costs in 5 years, due to a moratorium that’s expired.

“For some customers, we do understand any price increase is a difficulty,” Evergy spokesperson Gina Penzig.

Penzig said Evergy has worked to keep the rate increase it needs from inflating.

“We’re very cautious of the importance of us finding efficiencies and saving money in our business, so when we ask a price increase of customers, we can keep that to an amount that’s as small as we can,” Penzig said.

There are about 237,000 customers in Evergy’s Kansas Metro coverage area. If this rate hike is approved, they’ll see an average monthly increase of $3.47, or about 2%.

Customers in Evergy’s Kansas Central area — which includes Olathe, Leavenworth, Lawrence and Topeka — will see an an average increase of $14.24, or roughly 10%, under the plan.

Evergy said fees for small businesses and industrial centers would go up 19% on average, and schools and churches would increase by 25%.

Customers that FOX4 spoke to in Olathe, where that $14 increase would take effect, are worried about the potential change, however.

“It seems like a lot right now, and if it’s $15 now, what’s it going to be in another six months? That’s my question,” customer Michelle Iverson said.

“Everything right now is against you with being retired and living on social security,” Ken Knese said. “It’s not easy.”

In addition to Thursday’s meeting in Overland Park, there’s one more session with Evergy leaders and the Kansas Corporation Commission in Wichita.

More details on the upcoming public hearings are listed below:

Thursday, July 13 at 6 p.m.
KU Edwards BEST Conference Center
12600 S. Quivira Road, Overland Park

Thursday, July 27 at 6 p.m.

Wichita State University, Low Auditorium
Hughes Metropolitan Complex
5014 E 29th St. North, Wichita

Both meetings will be lived streamed on the KCC’s YouTube page. There is also a virtual option via Zoom is available to allow remote participants to comment. Advance registration on the KCC’s website is required for those participating by Zoom. 

KCC approval is required before a regulated utility can change its rates. If the plan is approved, it could go into effect as soon as December.