Westar Energy, Kansas’ largest electricity provider, is being acquired by Great Plains Energy for roughly $8.6 billion. The move could mean fewer rate increases in the future.
Great Plains Energy is the parent company of Kansas City Power and Light. When the sale becomes official, likely next spring, they will serve an estimated 1.5 million people.
Gina Penzig, a spokesperson for Westar, says that a bigger pool of customers means more money to deal with future regulations and infrastructure needs.
“We will be able to spread cost and investment out over a larger customer base, which should help mitigate price increases,” Penzig says.
It’s not clear yet if Westar will retain its name, but Penzig says Great Plains Energy will keep the company’s current headquarters in Topeka. She also says that when the two companies are combined, Great Plains Energy won’t retain all of Westar’s current staff, which totals 2,400 employees.
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