Westar settlement – Kansas consumers apparently do have a voice after all. Westar Energy earlier this year asked for its 16th rate increase since 2006 and, based on its successful track record with the Kansas Corporation Commission, likely saw little reason to doubt its latest request would find the same easy path to approval. Customers, however, attended a series of meetings around the state to protest the proposed rate hike, sent in letters to the Kansas Corporation Commission and otherwise made their concerns known. The result is a settlement agreement that still will see Westar customers’ utility bills increase by about $3 a month, but far less than the $7.50 a month Westar originally had proposed. Moreover, the settlement, which still awaits KCC approval, means those residential customers won’t unfairly shoulder more of Westar’s rates while watching rates for large companies decrease.