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Electric company tax savings to be passed on to Kansas taxpayers

Electric company tax savings to be passed on to Kansas taxpayers

The Kansas Corporation Commission on Thursday ordered its staff and the state's utilities to quantify the windfall from lower corporate taxes.

Westar Energy and Kansas City Power & Light say all the money coming from recently passed federal corporate tax cuts will land in their customers' pockets.

As part of the investigation, the commission issued an order that utilities track all savings from the tax cuts and maintain those funds in a separate interest-bearing regulatory account.

The new law permanently cuts the income tax rate on corporate profits from 35 percent to 21 percent.

Kansas regulators are also looking into any savings that kicked in sooner than rate reductions can happen.

Combined, the two utility companies sell electricity to 1.5 million customers in Kansas. That could mean refunds on future bills in addition to permanent cuts.

More news: Winter Storm Drops Big Snow in Triad

The Lawrence Journal-World reports KCP&L expects to save up to $100 million a year, while Westar anticipates it will save about $65 million a year.

Lt. Gov. Jeff Colyer was glad to take credit for the commitment.

Westar and KCP&L are expected to ask for rate increases in February. Spokesperson Gina Penzig says several politicians asked if the utility would be passing those savings along. That would knock about $3.50 a month off the electric bill of an average customer using 900 kilowatt hours of electricity, she said.

Estimates were not available Thursday about how those rate cuts would affect individual customers.

KCC spokeswoman Linda Berry said in a phone interview that the commission was charged with ensuring that rates were reasonable and sufficient to ensure that utilities could provide reliable service to their customers.


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