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Westar asks regulators to allow prepaid option

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) -- The state's largest electric utility is asking Kansas regulators for permission to let some customers pay for their electricity in advance.

The Wichita Eagle (http://bit.ly/1ayfpuZ) reports Westar Energy has filed an application with the Kansas Corporation Commission, which will decide whether to allow the prepaid service.

Westar says the pilot program would allow customers to make smaller advance payments, rather than receive a larger bill at the end of the month.

Customers who prepay wouldn't be charged a security deposit, but they would have to dole out an additional $4 per month to participate in the program.

The utility also says it could use its "advanced metering" capability to reduce electric usage to minimum levels for customers with unpaid bills during the winter when service shutoffs are permitted.