Clean Energy Business Council Introduces the Kansas Energy Fairness Act

2 months ago | Feb 08, 2019
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Clean Energy Business Council Introduces the Kansas Energy Fairness Act

Bipartisan support for the bill to prevent the KCC from imposing demand charges on wind and solar users

Jessica Lucas | CEBC
(620) 931-7161 | jessica@j-sq.com

Dorothy Barnett | CEBC
785-424-0444 | barnett@climateandenergy.org

  TOPEKA, KAN. –  Residential customers in the Westar Energy and Kansas City Power and Light service areas stand to benefit from the Kansas Energy Fairness Act, a bill introduced on behalf of the Clean Energy Business Council (CEBC) that would prevent the Kansas Corporation Commission from imposing demand charges on residential solar and wind users. Republican House member Michael Houser introduced HB 2190 and Democratic Senator Tom Hawk introduced SB 124.

"While other states are encouraging the adoption of residential solar and wind, Kansas policies now impose users with rate hikes ranging from $18 to $63 per month for generating their own power,” said Dorothy Barnett, executive director of the CEBC. "After the submission of nearly 1,000 public comments from across the state in opposition to the rate change for solar and wind customers, the KCC rejected the public’s outcry to this punitive policy. That’s why we’re now asking the legislature to adopt legislation that restricts utilities from charging residential solar and wind users an additional fee for generating their own power.” 

Opposition to the demand charges requested by Westar Energy and Kansas City Power and Light were expressed during the rate-making hearings, but the Commissioners still approved the charges in their 2018 rulings. "Not only did the KCC approve a punitive fee on solar users, but their actions were retroactive to Westar Energy customers who installed solar since October 2015,” continued Barnett. "This puts many Kansas families upside down on their investments in the technology and is not a fair way to handle energy charges.”  

CEBC member and solar installer Kevin Good of Good Energy Solutions in Lawrence, Kan., expressed support for the bill stating, "Kansas is poised to take greater advantage of our renewable resources but only if customers aren’t restricted by onerous rules and regulations that increase the cost of the technology. We’re eager for the legislature to pass the Energy Fairness Act so we can get back to installing solar for Kansas customers. As it stands now, we’re moving most of our business to Missouri, where customers receive a rebate on their solar, not an additional charge like Kansans now have to pay.”  

The CEBC represents more than 20 businesses and organizations who are all focused on advancing the clean energy economy and growing their businesses in Kansas. Members represent energy efficiency, solar, wind, electrical supply companies, manufacturers, chambers, nonprofits, and even the US Army. In addition to their commitment to the advanced energy economy, they all are impacted by non-competitive electricity rates.