Save Kansas Solar Update
Provided by Andy Rondon of Good Energy Solutions who attended the hearing at the Kansas Supreme Court.
The KS Supreme Court rules in favor of Evergy, and nothing changes – Demand charges are here to stay. Obviously, this is not the outcome that we want. If we saw this outcome, my fear would be that the other utilities in the area would get more aggressive towards solar customers.
The KS Supreme Court Rules in favor of Solar Customers, Evergy moves everyone to RS-DG – I doubt that Evergy wants to do this, but a rate that applies to everyone, by definition, does not disadvantage any single subgroup (i.e. solar customers). Evergy might not end up choosing demand charges specifically, but they would have the leeway to change the way they bill everyone. This could lead to a complete overhaul of the way the utilities bill and operate.
The KS Supreme Court Rules in favor of Solar Customers, Evergy makes RS-DG optional – Evergy likes the demand charges and there are probably some solar customers out there that also like them. Providing solar customers with options, but not forcing them to move away from the standard rate, wouldn’t put them at a disadvantage. Wouldn’t everyone choose the rate that best suited their lifestyle? I think that this is the most likely path.
Something else – These are my best guesses and the KS Supreme Court is not bound to any of these. Their ruling could be very narrow or very broad. They can ultimately do whatever they want.
Save Kansas Solar Update
Provided by the Climate & Energy Project and Clean Energy Business Council
Tomorrow, Dec. 19, the Kansas Supreme Court will review whether the rate design for distributed generation class (demand charges) discriminates against renewable energy users in violation of both Kansas state law and federal law. This hearing is open to the public. Everyone is welcome to attend in person or listen online (instructions below). Proceedings are also archived online.
Sierra Club and Vote Solar’s petition for review was filed with the supreme court and includes a summary of the issues and positions, it can be reviewed here.
If you wish to attend the hearing, here is information to help with your visit.
Kansas Supreme Court
301 SW 10th Avenue
Topeka Kansas 66612-1507
Telephone # 785.296.2256
Thursday, Dec. 19
General and Parking Information: Visitor parking is in the northeast corner of the parking lot and handicap parking is along the front row. All visitors will pass through security which includes a metal detector and x-ray machine. The courtroom will be on the 3rd floor. Each side will have 15 minutes to share their case. Arrive 15 minutes or so early to secure parking, get through security, and arrive in the courtroom before or by 9am.
Watch the Kansas Supreme Court Online
Oral arguments before the Supreme Court are open to the public and may be viewed live online. Proceedings are also recorded and archived so they may be viewed online any time. More information here. If you have questions or concerns about the webstream, call the Appellate Clerk’s office at 785-296-3229.
Information about the Kansas Supreme Court: The Kansas Supreme Court sits in Topeka in the Kansas Judicial Center and is the state court of last resort. It hears direct appeals from the district courts in the most serious criminal cases and appeals in any case in which a statute has been held unconstitutional. It may review cases decided by the Court of Appeals, and may transfer cases from that court to the Supreme Court. It also has original jurisdiction in several types of cases.
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