Kansas Citizens’ Utility Ratepayer Board (CURB)
The Citizens’ Utility Ratepayer Board (CURB) protects the interests of residential and small commercial utility ratepayers in utility rate cases before the Kansas Corporation Commission (KCC). CURB was created by the KCC in 1988 in response to the massive electric rate increases brought on by the overrun costs of the Wolf Creek Nuclear Power Plant. (When started Wolf Creek was estimated to cost $1 Billion but came in at $3.6 Billion) CURB was made an independent agency by statute in 1991 and has the legal authority to appeal KCC orders to district court. Westar and Kan- sas City Power& Light have filed rate cases to recover $1.2 Billion in costs to environmentally upgrade the La Cygne coal plant and Wolf Creek. Westar has had 20 rate increases since 2009 totaling $539 million thus raising residential bills by 53%. Westar is requesting a 10.3% rate of return for stockholders. CURB is there to fight for a better balance of utility expenses and affordable utility rates.
CURB’s webpage is http://curb.kansas.gov/. CURB publishes a quarterly newsletter called ‘CURBside News’ that details the issues and rate cases that CURB covers. In the December 2014 issue, CURB covers a filing by Westar to establish three energy efficiency programs that will cost $15 million over three years. CURB has some real concerns on how these programs are administered and funded.
On page 11 of their newsletter, CURB covers the filing by Westar, KCP&L and KEPCO on the cost of retiring the Wolf Creek Nuclear Power plant. Every three years, the KCC must consider these plans. Customers now using power from Wolf Creek are paying into a dismantlement plan. There are three options listed with one plan costing $765 million, a second plan that costs $1.03 Billion and a third plan of complete entombment on site that does not list a cost. CURB would happily put you on their email list.
From KRC’s Legislative & Policy Watch Weekly E-Updates, January 30, 2015, issue. To receive Policy Watch in your Inbox each week, please subscribe here.