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Kan. regulators consider Westar rate settlement

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) -- Attorneys for Westar Energy and its electric customers are urging Kansas regulators to approve a plan letting the utility raise rates for residential customers by $3 a month.

The Kansas Corporation Commission had a hearing Thursday on a settlement involving Westar Energy and representatives of its customers.

The deal would let Westar boost overall rates by about $31 million annually, or less than 2 percent. Attorneys said the settlement is reasonable.

The company had proposed a slightly higher overall increase, mostly to pay for environmental upgrades at its La Cygne (luh-SEEN') power plant in eastern Kansas.

But it also wanted to shift about $50 million in charges to residential customers and small businesses from larger businesses and public schools. Under the settlement, it would drop that idea.