energy

Michael Mazengarb / flickr Creative Commons

A couple dozen people showed up Tuesday night in Topeka to voice their concerns about Westar Energy’s proposed rate increase.

Westar is asking the Kansas Corporation Commission to increase prices by about $52 million. That's after taking into account savings from changes to the federal corporate income tax.

The increase would cost the average Westar customer about $5.90 a month.

Crysta Henthorne / Kansas News Service

Perhaps conserving energy is important to you. You’ve switched out all of your incandescent light bulbs with LEDs. You keep your thermostat set at 78 in the summer. You might even get mad at your kids when they leave a light on.

Your neighbor, on the other hand, isn’t quite as concerned. He keeps the thermostat set consistently at 68 and he hasn’t replaced any of his light bulbs because, in his words, who wants to pay $10 for a new one?

Edmiston Oil Company

Kansas oil production continued its decline in 2017 even as prices began to tick up.

The public submitted more than 100 comments to Kansas regulators about the proposed merger of Great Plains Energy and Westar Energy. Almost all of them were negative.

Brian Grimmett / KMUW

Early on the morning of March 16, wind provided 60 percent of the region’s electric needs. That number set a record, breaking an earlier one set only a week and a half earlier.

Wind power also recently set records for highest peak generation at 15,690 MW and continuously sustained generation of more than 13,000 MW for three days.

Brian Grimmett / KMUW

A decade ago, Kansans felt an earthquake once every few years. Now ground tremors come regularly. One of the hardest hit areas is Harper County in the south central part of the state.

It’s no coincidence, scientists and state regulators agree, that Harper and Sumner counties are also where massive amounts of wastewater has been pumped below ground by outfits drilling for oil and natural gas.

Brian Grimmett / KMUW

A resolution pending in the Kansas Legislature would urge, but not require, state regulators to make electric rates more competitive.

Kansas News Service/File photo

Executives pushing the merger of the two largest utility companies in Kansas have told regulators they’ll give in on some customer bill protection and job guarantees.

But the leaders at Great Plains Energy and Westar Energy say promising a five-year moratorium on rate hikes could leave the new, larger company unable to keep step in a fast-changing industry.

Kansas Geological Survey

Zack Pistora, legislative director of the Kansas Sierra Club, was worried about the number of earthquakes in the state and wanted to do something about it.

“Those earthquakes can cause damage to people’s homes, businesses, public buildings,” he said. “Right now there’s no recourse for those Kansans who get affected.”

Brian Grimmett/KMUW

Overnight temperatures have begun to dip near or below freezing. That can mean increased utility bills, and for many low-income families, increased financial pressure as they try to pay them.

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