Solar in Kansas: Urgent Action Needed!

Blog Post by SunSource Homes

Residential Solar in Kansas – YOUR ACTION NEEDED

Support the Kansas Energy Fairness Act 2019

 

Kansas’s 2 largest electric companies are imposing unfair penalties on residential solar energy.

Updated 02/14/2019

ATTENTION: The hearing is scheduled for Monday, February 25 at 1:30 p.m. in the Senate Utilities committee.

Kansas residential solar owners who are customers of Westar and KCP&L will see dramatic rate increases, nearly eliminating any financial benefits of going solar.

  • The two companies have recently merged into a company called Evergy.
  • An average home with solar will see additional charges ranging between $64 to $120/month. The difference depends on the size of the system and usage.
  • Surcharges in the Westar area were enacted retroactively, negatively impacting systems installed from 2015 to present day. (!!!)
  • In comparison, neighboring states Missouri, Iowa and Colorado are all pro-solar, recognizing the environmental, property value, and financial benefits of residential solar.

Why the new charges?

  • Westar & KCP&L argue that solar customers are unfairly shifting their fair share of operating costs to other rate payers.
  • Solar customers do pay the same base charges and taxes other customers do, they just contribute a portion of their own energy, lowering the cost of their energy.
  • They’ve been singled out to pay a penalty for generating their own energy.
  • Yet, the Brookings Institute conducted a study that showed that, contrary to Westar and KCP&L’s claims, solar net-metering is actually a benefit to the power company and other customers. | Read Article
  • In addition, solar puts electricity back into the grid, reducing the demand during a portion of peak summer hours.
Source: Climate & Energy Project (CEP) Fact Sheet  |  CLICK TO LEARN MORE

What’s being done about it?

The Kansas Energy Fairness Act 2019 HB 2190/SB 124 was introduced to the Kansas House and Senate on Tuesday, February 5 by the Clean Energy Business Council. | View Press Release

The bill simply states:

  • All electric companies must be charged on the same rate structure.

Key points to know:

  • Opt-in rate structures will be unaffected.
  • People who produce their own power are still subject to all the same base charges other customers pay for grid maintenance, etc.
  • Nobody’s asking for freebies, only a fair billing structure!

What is SunSource doing?

As a proud member of the Clean Energy Business Council (CEBC) SunSource is fighting for our current customers and for the rights of all homeowners. We want both those who use renewable energy and those who use traditional resources to be billed fairly. However, we can’t fix this law without your help.

  • Representatives from SunSource, including our president Keith Graepler, have traveled to Topeka several times, and will will continue to do so to support the Energy Fairness Act.
  • SunSource will appear at the hearings to offer testimony and support for the bill.
  • SunSource will support the CEBC’s Save Kansas Solar campaign.

What can you do?

Send the message loud and clear, Kansans want policy that will support energy efficiency and sustainability efforts rather than penalizing residents who install solar! Rate increases targeting solar owners are unfair and unwarranted, sending Kansas backwards, in comparison to other states who are embracing the movement for more affordable living, cleaner air, and increased property values.

Submit your support.

Tell them:

  • I do not support the demand charge forced on homeowners who use renewable energy – a charge other customers are not forced to pay.
  • I am for the Energy Fairness Act 2019 (HB 2190/SB 124) and want you to vote “yes” in favor of the bill.

Contact your Kansas legislators.

Tell them:

  • I do not support the demand charge forced on homeowners who use renewable energy – a charge other customers are not forced to pay.
  • I am for the Energy Fairness Act 2019 (HB 2190/SB 124) and want you to vote “yes” in favor of the bill.

Join us in Topeka.

Nothing speaks to lawmakers like their constituents showing up to express their support. At this time, an official hearing date has not been set. However, it is confirmed that the hearing is scheduled Monday, February 25 at 1:30 p.m in the Senate Utilities committee.

Sign up to learn when the hearing date is set, find out about Kansas electrical rate hikes, and other sustainable living news from SunSource