Some could pay less, others more with proposed changes from Westar

Published: May. 15, 2018 at 9:50 PM CDT
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Westar Energy wants to change the way it charges its customers. This means some of you could pay less, while others will be paying more.

Westar is looking at a potential rate decrease at the end of this year, followed by a rate increase next year, The company is looking to introduce a new rate plan that could either save you money or increase your bill.

The company is also proposing a new, optional, three-part rate plan that would include a lower rate for electricity and a demand charge for high usage between 2 and 7 p.m.

It's already a common practice for other electric companies, but Eyewitness News looked into how that change could affect the average Westar customer.

We used two electric bills for the same customer as an example. In our example, the customer's peak energy use falls within the 2 and 7 p.m. window. Under the current rate plan, the bill was $52 for January's energy use. That's not including extra fees attached to the bill.

With that same bill, under the new three-part plan, it's estimated the cost would be about $10 more with that demand charge.

A July bill from last year came out to $83.19. With the new plan, the same bill jumped more than $40. The new plan may not work well for this customer, but if you're prone to using less energy between 2 and 7 p.m., it could help you out.

If for example, you have a job that keeps you away from home from the mid-to-late morning until 8 p.m. or later, you would more likely see a savings with the same plan that raised the overall cost for the customer in our example.

With a schedule like this, the customer in our example would see savings of about $6, down to $46.05 in January and a savings of more than $14, down to $68.77 in July.

"This is offering our customers a new rate choice," says Westar spokeswoman Gina Penzig. "We realize that it's structured in a way that it's not for everybody, but it gives families who, maybe their lifestyle and the way they use energy fit this profile, a way to save a little bit of money."