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WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — Kansas utility regulators have issued an order requiring Evergy to explain and justify a plan to spend $10.4 billion on its electrical system and report quality of service measures on a quarterly basis amid concerns that the plan is designed largely to benefit a hedge fund investor. The Wichita Eagle reports that members of the Kansas Corporation Commission sent a strong signal Tuesday that they won’t tolerate efforts to increase shareholder profits at the expense of unreasonably high rates for Evergy’s 1 million Kansas customers. In a written statement, Evergy said it was reviewing the commission’s order before identifying “if there are appropriate next steps." At issue is a plan undertaken by Evergy after Elliott Management Corp. bought into Evergy last year with a stated goal of raising the company’s profitability and stock prices. The plan calls for cost reductions on current operations and a large expansion in system investment, both of which would benefit the company’s bottom line and returns for shareholders.“Let’s be very clear our role here is not to benefit the shareholders," said Commissioner Susan Duffy, formerly the KCC’s executive director. “Our role here is to protect the ratepayer.”
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