Westar Energy

Westar Energy

donor plaque
  Westar Energy

In 1909, The American Power & Light Company organized Kansas Gas and
Electric Company to operate utilities in Wichita, Pittsburg and Frontenac.
KG&E grew rapidly.

With financial backing from Illinois Power and Light Corporation, The
Kansas Power and Light Company was founded in 1924 in Tecumseh.
Transmission lines ran to Topeka and Atchison. The company immediately
began acquiring customers and the assets of area electric and natural gas
utilities. In 1983, KPL acquired The Gas Service Company and rights to
serve its one million natural gas customers in Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska
and Oklahoma.

In 1992, KPL merged with KG&E to become Western Resources. It served
560,000 electric customers and 1.06 million natural gas customers in three
states. In 1996, an agreement gave Tulsa, Okla.-based ONEOK, Inc. ownership
of Western Resources' natural gas business. In return, Western Resources
received approximately 45 percent ownership in ONEOK. This investment was
sold in 2002 and 2003 as part of the company's renewed focus on being a
pure electric utility.

In 2002, Western Resources shareholders approved changing the company's
name to Westar Energy.  The company is headquartered in Topeka, Kan.
Today, Westar Energy is the largest electric provider in Kansas, delivering
electricity to more than 687,000 customers in 55 counties. Westar Energy
has a generation capacity greater than 7,100 megawatts and owns over 35,000
miles of transmission and distribution lines. It takes a dedicated team of
more than 2,400 employees to keep the electricity flowing day and night.