The deadline to send comments to the KCC is Friday, 26 May 2017, 5:00pm.
After Westar Energy asked the Kansas Corporation Commission (KCC) in 2015 if they could raise their monthly residential service charge to $50 for folks with rooftop solar or small wind, Westar withdrew the request and agreed to hearings to determine a fair rate structure. A series of hearings has begun, and the public comment period is now open.
Depending on how these hearings go, Kansas may get a solar tax of such magnitude that it would severely punish many existing solar customers and make going solar prohibitively expensive. To forego such a punitive solar tax, it’s important to flood the KCC with public comments in favor of waiting, and carefully studying the solar issue before making major changes in rates. Cromwell Solar, who is an intervenor in the case, said “The anti-consumer proposals put forth by the utilities hurt Kansans by forcing additional fees onto solar customers without first determining the appropriate amount of those fees, or even the necessity of those fees at all. The new rate structures suggested are designed to penalize those going solar, and not to fairly distribute costs”.
A very good explanation of the issue can be viewed at – Protect Solar Choice in Kansas. Cromwell Solar suggests you make some key points when commenting:
- The KCC should study the real impact that the 450 solar customers (of 690,000 total) has on Westar, before imposing new rates
- Westar’s proposed solar tax of higher flat fees and a new demand charge are arbitrary, not based on a cost-benefit analysis
- A study of the benefits and costs of solar is needed by a neutral 3rd party
- Net-metered solar does benefit Westar with greater transmission efficiencies and lower fuel costs
- Punitive rooftop solar rates restricts one’s ability to enjoy their property by freely choosing solar electricity
- Net metering and parallel generation are different in type and scale, and should not be lumped together in rates
After reading Protect Solar Choice in Kansas, there are three ways to submit comments:
- Use the KCC comment form at – Send Public Comments on Solar Rate Docket 16-GIME-403-GIE.
- Send a written letter to the Kansas Corporation Commission, Office of Public Affairs and Consumer Protection, 1500 SW Arrowhead Road, Topeka, KS 66604-4027. Be sure to reference Docket #16-GIME-403-GIE.
- Send comments through – CREDO mobilize: Protect Solar Choice in Kansas.