Save Kansas Solar Update
Provided by the Climate & Energy Project
Westar solar customers who installed a solar system before October 1, 2018 should have seen a change on their September bill, eliminating the demand charges. If you’re a Westar solar customer and still being charged the demand rate, contact the utility. If you prefer to keep the demand charge rate you must opt in by calling Westar by October 1, 2019.
The Clean Energy Business Council (CEBC) continues to negotiate with Evergy on options for those who want to go solar. Stay tuned for an update at the end of October!
Clean Energy Business Council Reaches Agreement with Evergy
Both parties find common ground in effort to address residential solar opportunities
TOPEKA, KAN. – After months of debate in the Kansas statehouse, the Clean Energy Business Council presented to the Senate Utilities committee on Thursday that Evergy had agreed to file a new tariff with the KCC to request that Westar customers with solar installations prior to October 1, 2018, and KCP&L customers with installations prior to December 20, 2018, are grandfathered into the old rate and not subject to the mandatory demand charges.“We appreciate Evergy agreeing to grandfather these customers into the old rate so solar users aren’t impacted by prohibitive rate hikes. We’re now focused on how we can make sure Kansas policies enable future solar customers to affordably access the technology for their homes. Our agreement with Evergy included their commitment to collaborate in the coming months to find reasonable solutions that will allow the industry to grow and we’re looking forward to those discussions,” said Dorothy Barnett, executive director of the Clean Energy Business Council.
Vice Chairman of Senate Utilities Mike Petersen (R-Wichita) told Barnett in committee, “I want to thank you and the industry for getting together and figuring out how to help these folks that made their investments (in solar) and coming to a reasonable solution.”
The Clean Energy Business Council introduced SB 124 to eliminate the demand charges approved by the KCC in the fall. “We’ve agreed to stop pursuit of SB 124 this session so the tariff can be filed and we can work outside of the legislature to address how to value the costs and benefits of residential solar for future customers,” said Barnett.
The hearing took place on Monday, Feb. 25. Listen here
A recent Bill, The Energy Fairness Act, could revoke current punitive demand charges for Kansas homeowners with solar in Westar/KCP&L Territory.
Original Post: 2/8/2019
Customers of Westar/KCP&L with grid-tied connected solar on their homes are currently subject to distributed generation demand charges* on their utility bills. But recently a bill (HB-2190, SB-124) has been introduced to the Kansas House of Representatives and to the Senate. The bill, if passed, would reverse the ruling made in 2018 and actually accomplish two things:
- Revoke the punitive charges that were added to residential solar customers and
- Protect solar customers from being singled out again in the future.
Good Energy Solutions is looking for people who are willing to A) write a letter of testimony or B) testify, in person, in front of the Senate Utilities Committee:
- Are you a residential customer of KCP&L or Westar and live in Kansas?
- Has the uncertainty in rates (i.e. the new punitive charges) played a part in your decision to not install solar at your home?
- Are you a solar customer who has been affected by these charges?
A Residential solar customer’s peak demand is 10 kW on a Friday evening at 6:00. The household is a typical home with two adults and three small children.
10 kW x $9 = $90 in demand charges each month.
October – May
10 kW x $3 = $30 in demand charges each month.
- Summer and Winter demand charges are $9.00/kW and $3.00/kW, respectively
- Customer charge will be $14.25
- The energy charge is $0.07688 per kWh
- Demand measurement shall be a 60-minute intervals
- The demand billing period shall be the daily hours of 4:00pm through 8:00pm Central Time, except for weekends, New Year’s Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day, and Christmas Day