Two groups will intervene in Westar rate case

The case involves higher fees for solar panel use

Two environmental groups will be allowed to intervene in a rate case involving Westar, which wants to impose higher fees on customers who install solar panels on their homes. 

The Kansas Corporation Commission on Thursday said the Sierra Club and a group called Vote Solar may intervene in the case but must consolidate their testimony and evidence. They also cannot submit repetitive testimony or briefs. 

Vote Solar, a nonprofit that promotes solar energy, says it has 82,000 members nationwide, including about 80 in Westar's service area. 

Westar will soon merge with the parent company of Kansas City Power & Light. It is seeking a $17.6 million rate hike, partly from extra charges for customers with solar panels and other alternative devices for electricity. 

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