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How are rates set

As a regulated utility, Westar Energy follows an established process determined by the state of Kansas to request changes to its prices to keep them aligned with costs. The Kansas Corporation Commission oversees this process. Anytime we need to adjust our rates, we must file a request and justification to the KCC, which then starts an eight-month process called a rate case to review the request and hear from interested people and organizations. Nearly all documents related to a rate case are public and available for review at the KCC website.

Rate case steps

  1. Westar files an application and supporting information with the Kansas Corporation Commission. This filing starts the 240-day process for reviewing rates.
  2. KCC staff and interveners (interested people and organizations) carefully review Westar’s filing and may request additional information. Staff and interveners will also file briefs stating and supporting their position on the request.
  3. The Commission invites the public to comment on the request. This can be by mail, email and phone. A public hearing is also conducted where members of the public can ask questions and provide comments. 
  4. Westar, the KCC and interveners look for areas where they can come to agreement on the filing.
  5. Technical hearings are conducted to examine any remaining issues. Here experts from Westar, the KCC and interveners present their position to the commission and answer questions from one another.
  6. Commissioners review all agreements, documents and testimony presented in the case.
  7. The Commission issues an order that concludes the process. The order establishes the new rates, which are then implemented.
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