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End cost studies for some rate increases, KCC proposes

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) -- The chairman of the Kansas Corporation Commission is proposing ending cost studies for proposed rate increases that are less than 10 percent.

KCC chairman Mark Sievers made the suggestion in a statement responding to Westar Energy's recent $30.7 million rate request, which was approved Thursday.

Sievers suggested that the commission could presume rate increases of less than 10 percent are reasonable. He says that would save time and the expense of cost allocation and rate design studies.

The Topeka Capital-Journal reports (http://bit.ly/1bbYQJD ) cost allocation was an issue in Westar's latest case because the utility sought larger increases for residential and small commercial customers. The Citizens' Utility Ratepayer Board argued residents should pay less of the increase. The utility and CURB used different formulas to reach their conclusions.