Citizen's Utility Ratepayer Board

An agency that represents small utility customers is asking the state to reject Westar Energy's plan to allow some customers to prepay their bills.

The Citizen's Utility Ratepayer Board filed a motion Monday asking the Kansas Corporation Commission to dismiss Westar's application for the program.

Westar applied in October to allow about 1,000 customers to prepay their bills. The utility says it would allow customers to make smaller payments rather than pay a large bill at the end of the month. KCC deferred the application until May.

Westar Energy is asking to raise the rates on residential and small business customers and lower the rates for large businesses.

Homeowners or small businesses would pay 6 to 9 percent more under Westar Energy's latest plan. Big businesses that buy lots of power would pay 6 to 15 percent less.

Westar officials say industrial users and other large-volume customers are paying more than their share.