KCP&L's new efficiency program increases rates for 300,000 customers

KANSAS CITY - More than 300,000 Kansas City Power & Light customers will soon see an increase in their bill after the utility company was approved to implement a new efficiency program Thursday.

Katie McDonald, KCP&L communications director, said the program includes energy-efficiency rebates that will help users save energy and money.

However, the program will costs customers about $40 million, which is why bills will be going up. But McDoanald said over the next three years, the program will save customers much more.

"We are projecting over $140 million in customer savings through those programs," she explained.

The program impacts a little less than half of KCP&L's 820,000 customers. Most live in surrounding suburbs to the east and north of Kansas City. These customers were formerly served by Aquila Energy, which KCP&L took over in 2008.  

McDonald said the customers who will see an increase would have seen one no matter what, and the new efficiency program is a way to eventually reduce that increase. The alternative, McDonald added, would be a brand new power plant.  

"Instead of charging customers to build a new power plant, it's going to cost them far less for us to implement these programs," McDonald said.

During the past year, KCP&L has been in the process of requesting a 10.9 percent rate increase for Missouri customers. 

McDonald said the cost of the efficiency program is already included in that increase and would not be an additional increase. The Missouri Public Service Commission has yet to approve the 10.9 percent increase.

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