TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNW) — A Sedgwick County district court judge has approved a plan for Evergy Kansas Central to pay for alleged violations of the Kansas Consumer Protection Act (KCPA), according to Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt and Sedgwick County District Attorney Marc Bennett.
Schmidt and Bennett say the company will pay $500,000 to the State of Kansas as part of a consent judgment.
Evergy Kansas Central is a subsidiary of Evergy, Inc., and was formerly known as Westar Energy Inc. It is the area that includes Wichita, Topeka and Manhattan.
They say the judgment relates to interior and exterior electrical home warranties offered through Evergy Kansas Central’s affiliation with HomeServe USA from September 2014 through December 2019.
Schmidt and Bennett conducted a joint investigation into the partnership between the utility and HomeServe for allegations that Evergy Kansas Central, known then as Westar, sponsored and approved electrical home warranties that failed to provide a material benefit to consumers and made material misrepresentations in violation of the KCPA.
The consent judgment is a court-approved agreement between the parties, and Evergy Kansas Central Inc. does not admit to the State’s allegations. KSN has reached out to Evergy for its response.
Sedgwick County District Court Judge Eric Commer approved the judgment on July 15. Under the consent judgment:
- Evergy Kansas Central has agreed to pay $480,000 to the State of Kansas, as well as $20,000 to reimburse investigative fees.
- Evergy Kansas Central cannot share customer information with a third party unless allowed by law.
- Evergy Kansas Central agreed that any time it is compensated for the use of its logo, it will place a nearby statement informing consumers its use was compensated.
- Evergy Kansas Central will not allow third parties to use the company logo to solicit business in a way that a reasonable person would believe the solicitation originated from Evergy Kansas Central.
- The company must not send or deliver solicitations that a customer could reasonably interpret as a bill or invoice of an account due.
- It must refrain from soliciting goods or services from which the consumer can’t receive any benefit.