Kansas Corporation Commission

Recent Kansas Corporation Commission decisions on utility investments could save customers millions of dollars.

The KCC recently filed a complaint with federal authorities arguing Westar Energy is charging too much return on equity for its transmission projects.

Westar currently charges 11.3 percent. The KCC is arguing it should be 9.37 percent. The reduction could drop rates $15.8 million dollars annually.

The Kansas Corporation Commission has approved a plan that would allow Westar Energy to receive about $3.5 million dollars in revenue for making emissions improvements at the La Cygne power plant in eastern Kansas.

Westar also agreed not to ask for a rate increase until March.

About two-thirds of the company's customers are expected to see an increase of about 16 cents on their bills, but they will not pay more until October of 2015.

Governor Sam Brownback is nominating a former Kansas Senate majority leader for a seat on the Kansas Corporation Commission.

Brownback has chosen Republican Senator Jay Emler, from Lindsborg, to take the position being vacated by KCC Chairman Mark Sievers.

Brownback says Emler will be a good fit for the commission, which regulates industries including utilities and oil drilling.

The Kansas Corporation Commission is now allowing consumers, attorneys and the utilities it regulates to file documents electronically.

The agency made the new e-Filing Express system available through its website on Monday.

Commission executive director Kim Christiansen says the new system will be more convenient for parties in regulatory cases and reduce costs.

The commission receives about 8,500 paper documents a year.

The chairman of the Kansas Corporation Commission has announced he will resign. Mark Sievers has chaired the regulatory board since 2011.

The KCC regulates utilities including electricity, natural gas and telecommunications.

The organization has recently been involved in some controversies. A month ago, a Shawnee County judge fined the agency for violating the state's open meetings act by using a system in which some proposals were approved behind closed doors.

Kansas Corporation Commission approved a customer rate increase for Westar Energy customers Thursday, saying it was due to increased costs from EPA regulations.

Westar's application requested a $31.7 million dollar revenue increase.

Residential customers with an average monthly consumption of 900 kilowatt hours of electricity will see an average monthly increase of $3.00.

The new rates go into effect on December 1, 2013.

The increase is due to the actual capital improvement costs Westar incurred while meeting EPA regulations at its La Cygne power plant.

The Kansas Corporation Commission and an agency that represents utility customers have been butting heads over comments made by a KCC commissioner. The disagreement is over what the commissioner said about how the KCC decides rate increases for utility customers.

In a filing recently, KCC Chair Mark Sievers endorsed a process that uses a formula to decide future rate increases. The more common process is where advocates for utility customers and the utility make arguments before the KCC, and then the KCC decides on the amount of the increase.

Clean Line Energy

The Kansas Corporation Commission is hosting a series of hearings regarding a massive power line that will cross Kansas and deliver electricity to Missouri, Illinois and Indiana.

The Grain Belt Express line will cross Russell and Osborne counties and send 600,000 volts of electricity from wind farms. The Kansas Corporation Commission already has found the project to be in the public interest. The hearings will focus on its location.

Fracking Companies May Soon Have To Disclose Chemical Use

Jul 23, 2013

Kansas utility regulators are considering requiring oil and natural gas companies to disclose information about the chemicals they use in hydraulic fracturing, also called fracking.

An attorney for the Kansas Corporation Commission outlined these proposed new rules Monday for a joint legislative committee that reviews administrative regulations.

Fracking uses water under high pressure to crack open rock formations and release oil and natural gas.

The information would have to be listed on a KCC database or in an existing online industry database.

KCC Approves Operations Changes

Jul 2, 2013

The Kansas board that regulates utilities has approved operational changes after replacing its top staff member and facing allegations that it violated the state's Open Meetings Act.