Content starts here
AARP AARP States Kansas

AARP Kansas Opposes Evergy Rate Increase Proposal - Additional Public Hearings Scheduled

Electricity bills
Electricity bills
adrian825/Getty Images/iStockphoto

On Tuesday, July 11, AARP Kansas State Director Glenda DuBoise provided testimony in front of the Kansas Corporation Commission regarding the request for a rate increase by Evergy, the company that provides electricity to a large part of Kansas.

Below is a copy of the AARP testimony:

Good evening, Chair Duffy and Commissioners Keen and French. I am Glenda DuBoise and I live in Topeka. I am accompanied by Michael Brosch who lives in Leawood, Kansas. I am the AARP Kansas State Director and Mr. Brosch is an AARP Kansas volunteer. AARP is a nonprofit, nonpartisan membership organization that advocates for fair and affordable utility rates and reliable service. On behalf of AARP Kansas, we thank you for this opportunity to express our concerns about Evergy’s proposed rate increase that would make electricity– an essential service – less affordable for many older adults. AARP Kansas has more than 278,000 members many of whom are Evergy customers. These member households, and Kansans over 50, would be adversely impacted by yet another significant rate increase in their utility bills.

Consumers over 50 tend devote a higher percentage of their total spending towards energy costs than other age groups. All consumers must be able to rely on the availability of safe, affordable, and high-quality utility services. Affordable utilities are crucial to health and personal welfare.

  • AARP Kansas urges the Commission to carefully scrutinize Evergy's electric rate proposal to ensure that customers do not pay more than is fully justified by the evidence in this matter.  We have consulted with several experts who believe that Evergy is being overly aggressive in its attempt to raise rates this time around.  Mr. Brosch has prepared comments summarizing several important issues that are not adequately addressed in Evergy’s filing and that should be carefully examined by the KCC.
  • The utility is requesting a significant increase in what consumers must pay towards Evergy's annual corporate profits in asking that its currently authorized annual return on common equity be increased significantly, from 9.3% to 10.25%. 
  • Many of the accounting proposals in this rate case appear one-sided, treating the utility and its shareholders more favorably than consumers are treated.
  • We ask that you treat residential consumers more fairly with regard to class allocations and rate design.  In the rate proposal, residential consumers would apparently bear the brunt of any increase (5.9%), as compared with other larger rate classes that would only see a 3.5% or 2.2% increase.  Put another way, residential customers are being asked to pay for 134% of the additional revenue requested.   In these inflationary times, many AARP Kansas members do not have extra funds in their monthly budgets to pay for reductions in the energy bills of larger customer classes.
  • AARP Kansas is also concerned about the proposal to increase the fixed basic service fee from $14.50 to 16.71.  If implemented, it would represent a 15% increase in this unavoidable fee, much higher than that of other residential rate components.  Keeping this fixed fee lower would give consumers more control over their electric bills.
  • As for the time-of-use and demand rate pilot programs, AARP Kansas supports keeping these programs completely voluntary ("opt-in").  If these current rate design pilot programs are transitioned to full program status, they should remain optional.  Customers should not be defaulted onto such programs without making an affirmative choice.

Additional public hearings will be held on Thursday, July 13 at 6 p.m. at the KU Edwards Campus in Overland Park; and on Thursday, July 27 at 6 p.m. in Wichita at the Wichita State University's Lowe Auditorium at the Hughes Metropolitan Complex. For more information about the hearings and the rate case, visit the KCC's website.

The Commission is also accepting written comments regarding the rate increase request through 5 p.m., September 29, 2023, on its website, by mail to the Commission’s Office at 1500 SW Arrowhead Rd, Topeka, KS 66604-4027 or by calling the KCC’s Office of Public Affairs and Consumer Protection at 785-271-3140 or 800-662-0027.


About AARP Kansas
Contact information and more from your state office. Learn what we are doing to champion social change and help you live your best life.