KCPL Hype

There’s been a lot of talk recently about the rate hike Kansas City Power and Light is foisting on its users. Some bills have more than doubled, causing customers to re-think that extra dinner out in favor of keeping the lights on. The budget billing at this news-dog’s house went up over $100 per month, thank you very much, and we’re probably on the lower end of the increase scale.

The hefty rate hike has also jump-started a petition aimed at the state regulatory officers demanding answers. That change.org petition has over 65,000 signatures to date, but is being called “invalid” by one local Public Service Commission member. While KCPL talking heads and customer service types try to explain away the increases as being the result of a hotter summer in 2018 versus the summer of 2017, this dog will put the light bulbs in a row for our faithful readers.

First off, in March of 2009, KCPL issued over $400 million in Mortgage Bonds at 7.15%. Interestingly, those bonds are due in April of 2019, a little over six months from now. $400 million isn’t chump change, and KCPL needs to pay for that somehow. Everyone knows defecation runs downhill and the end users end up paying for that.

Interestingly, in 2017, KCPL somehow scraped together $12 billion in an attempt to buy Topeka-based Westar Energy. In the end, that deal was rejected by regulators, but it makes this critically thinking news-pooch wonder why a substantial rate hike occurred when this kind of scratch seems to be readily available to throw at the purchase of a neighboring energy company. This fact makes us even less likely to buy the “hotter summer this year” propaganda being advanced by KCPL in order to cover their rate-hike tracks.

That said, Missouri and Kansas regulators just signed off on a new Westar-KCPL merger earlier this year. Both organizations have at least publicly stated that millions in cost savings will be realized through the merger, and that more jobs will be created. But in an article penned by our friend Steve Vockrodt at The Star, the truth accidentally slipped out when it was noted that these multi-million dollar savings would benefit the “value hungry shareholders.” See how that works?

The shareholders, not the customers like you and this cash-strapped news dog, are the ones benefitting. Despite their public position of being “customer friendly,” KCPL’s obligation is to the shareholder, not the customer.

Lastly, KCPL has been busy installing charging stations for electric cars. Over 1,000 charging stations exist throughout our fair city, believe it or not, and those stations don’t get installed for free.

Never mind that only .22% of the driving public actually own an electric vehicle. That’s not 22%, that’s less than one quarter of one percent of vehicles world-wide. The big fraud here is that electric cars still rely on fossil fuel – that’s coal to you and me – in order to make greeniac, hipster drivers feel holier than us about our vehicle choice.

Let’s just separate the wheat from the chaff here. You can believe the bile being spewed by the KCPL faithful about a hotter summer, or you can do your own research (not much of it this dog would add) and learn the truth about the matter. KCPL needs more of your money to pay back the big banks, satisfy their shareholders and build charging stations for cars driven by less than 1% of the motorized public.

This independently-thinking pooch has long been in favor of de-regulating the power companies so that customers actually get a choice on their energy providers. The only thing we get to choose now is the size of the barrel that power companies have us over.

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