Topeka, Kan. – A subsidiary of the state’s largest electric utility will pay $500,000 to the State of Kansas for alleged violations of the Kansas Consumer Protection Act, Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt and Sedgwick County District Attorney Marc Bennett said today.
Evergy Kansas Central Inc. agreed to a consent judgment related to interior and exterior electrical home warranties offered through its affiliation with HomeServe USA from September 2014 through December 2019. Evergy Kansas Central Inc. is a subsidiary of Evergy, Inc., and was formerly known as Westar Energy Inc. 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 Kansas Consumer Protection Act. The consent judgment is a court-approved agreement between the parties, and Evergy Kansas Central Inc. does not admit to the State’s allegations.
Under the consent judgment approved July 15 by Sedgwick County District Court Judge Eric Commer, Evergy Kansas Central has agreed to pay $480,000 to the State of Kansas, as well as $20,000 to reimburse investigative fees.
In addition, 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 use of its logo, it will place a nearby statement informing consumers its use was compensated. Additionally, 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; and it must refrain from soliciting goods or services from which it is impossible for the consumer to receive any benefit.
Assistant Attorney General Melanie Jack of Schmidt’s office and Jason Roach, Chief of the Consumer Protection Division of Bennett’s office, handled the case.
A copy of the consent judgment can be found at http://www.inyourcornerkansas.org/judgments.