Consumer advocates say the public should be ready to express its opposition to Empire District Electric Co.'s proposed rate hike for Kansas customers.
Last Wednesday, Empire announced it is seeking a seeking a nearly 25 percent increase in annual revenues, or $5.2 million. It's the utility's first rate increase request since 2005.
The Joplin-based utility has more than 10,000 customers in Baxter Springs, Columbus, Galena, Riverton and surrounding areas.
Empire spokeswoman Amy Bass says a Kansas residential customer using 1,000 kilowatt hours of electricity would see rates increase 27 percent, or $25.09 per month.
David Springe, consumer counsel for the Citizens' Utility Ratepayer Board, says the public should be aware when a hearing on the request is scheduled and turn out in force.
The Kansas Corporation Commission isn't expected to act on the increase before next summer.