Westar Energy

Company History






A Century of Service Video




Milestones

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.


At the end of 1910, it served three communities and 5,525 customers. By 1925, service extended to 50 communities and 48,773 customers. At one time, KG&E also provided natural gas to Hutchinson, Newton, Pittsburg and Wichita.


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. Our stock is traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol WR.


December 11, 2009 marks 100 years of providing electric service for Westar Energy.


Company Timeline

1910 - KG&E authorized to begin operation.
1922 - Kansas Electric Power Co. is incorporated.
1924 - Kansas Power and Light Co. is incorporated. Neosho Plant is built.
1935 - United Power and Light merges with KPL.
1943 - KPL acquires Kansas Electric Power Company.
1955 - KG&E common stock listed on the New York Stock Exchange.
1967 - KG&E requests water rights at John Redmond Reservoir for a nuclear plant.
1973 - LaCygne Energy Center goes on line.
1978 - Jeffrey Energy Center begins commercial operation.
1985 - Wolf Creek Generating Station begins commercial operation Sept. 3.
1992 - KPL and KG&E merger completed. Western Resources introduced.
1999 - Westar Wind becomes the first commercially operated wind turbine project in Kansas.
2002 - Westar Energy is introduced. The KPL, KGE and Western Resources names are retired.



Today, Westar Energy is the largest electric provider in Kansas, delivering electricity to nearly 700,000 customers in 55 counties. Westar Energy has a generation capacity greater than 7,000 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.