Kansas Supreme Court rules utility providers can’t charge higher rates for solar power producers

Photo: Michael Coghlan / CC BY-SA 2.0

TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) --- The Kansas Supreme Court has reversed a State Appeals Court ruling that granted a new rate structure Westar Energy and Kansas Gas and Electric had proposed for solar power and other producers of their own energy.

Solar power customers had complained that the proposed structure allowed Westar and KG&E to charge higher rates for them than regular utility customers.

The Court reversed the Appeals Court as well as the Kansas Corporation approval of that rate proposal and sent the rate case back to the KCC for further proceedings.

Westar and KG&E had made the rate proposal due to compensate for what they said were declining sales and rising costs. The Kansas Corporation Commission had approved a proposed net increase of $52.6 million a year.

The ruling means Westar, which is now Evergy, and Kansas Gas and Electric must come up with a different rate proposal.

Evergy says they are working on how to move forward after the decision.

"We are reviewing the court’s decision regarding rates for customers with private generation," Gina Penzig, External Communications Manager at Evergy, said. "We will work with the commission regarding appropriate next steps after they have resumed operations."