Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

Let Electricity Consumers, Not Big Mergers, Control Their Pocketbooks

Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

Let Electricity Consumers, Not Big Mergers, Control Their Pocketbooks

Article excerpt

As people who watch our electricity industry closely, big changes are coming that will put extreme financial pressures on large incumbent electric companies that generate their own power. If policymakers are prudent, however, these changes could provide a newfound opportunity for retail competition that will benefit ratepayers by reducing bills and giving them more choices for where they purchase their electricity.

On May 31, 2016, Great Plains Energy issued a public statement announcing that it was purchasing Westar Energy based in Topeka. The statement said, "The combination of the two companies will lower their costs and help reduce rate increases for customers."

That statement should give electricity consumers cause for alarm, and some serious questions must be asked of this merger. If this merger will only "help reduce rate increases for customers," then it would appear this merger of two large power companies may be good for the companies, but the public isn't seeing any benefit if their rates continue to rise. This statement appears to be extremely disingenuous and serves very little value for ratepayers considering there is a consistent supply of electricity on the grid 30 percent cheaper than what Great Plains/Westar are delivering to consumers they serve today.

Opening up Kansas, Missouri and surrounding states to retail electricity competition would allow ratepayers to lower their electricity rates by allowing dozens of competitors to provide services with much lower overhead costs to ratepayers. Opening up the retail electricity market would allow consumers to buy whatever type of electricity they want. If a consumer wants the cheapest power available, they could sign up for that. If a consumer wanted only renewable energy, they could sign up for that. In some places where consumers have retail choices, some power providers even have offers of free nights and weekends, an offer Kansans could take advantage of if they only had a choice. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.