WESTAR WANTS KANSANS TO PAY FOR PEAK POWER. WHAT COULD IT MEAN FOR YOUR ENERGY BILL?
Some utility companies want to begin billing you not just for how much you use in a month, but also for your highest peaks. That charge is known as a demand fee — named for the most demand you’d put on the power system at any given moment. In its latest request to state regulators, Westar Energy is seeking permission to add the charge to residential rates. The program would be optional, but if it accomplishes the company’s goals it would likely become mandatory. Westar says it needs the new fee to help recover the costs of keeping enough power plants available to promise reliable electricity to all of its users.