- The Kansas Corporation Commission issued an order last week finding utilities may establish separate rate classes or fees for customers with rooftop solar generation, in order to avoid having their use of the electric grid subsidized by other customers,
- Regulators adopted a non-unanimous agreement among a dozen participants in the docket, which was opened last year when KCC began the investigation into distributed generation rates. Three parties opposed the agreement.
- According to the Lawrence Journal-World, the KCC decision allows Westar to file new rates that will likely be higher for distributed generation customers; other utilities will be allowed to assess new fees.
Kansas regulators have concluded an investigation of tariff structures for customers with distributed generation, concluding utilities would be allowed to charge fees or higher rates.
According to a statement from regulators, the order determines that utilities "may establish a separate rate class and propose new rate design for distributed generation customers to ensure those customers share in the fixed costs of the electric grid and are not subsidized by other ratepayers."
Customers with distributed generation systems operating prior to new tariffs being implemented will be allowed to remain on their existing rates until 2030.
Kansas regulators launched the investigation last summer. Earlier in 2016, Westar told the KCC that "under current rate designs, the substitution of DG for utility generation creates a potential revenue shortfall that gives rise to the need for special rate designs to address DG customers."
The net metering docket was launched as an offshoot of Westar's general rate proceeding, which proposed adding new rates for solar customers.
Citizens' Utility Ratepayer Board and two additional parties opposed the agreement submitted to Kansas regulators. It was supported by KCC staff, Westar, Kansas City Power & Light, United Wind, Midwest Energy, and others.