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Strife in Kansas

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Henry Craver's picture
Small Business Owner Self-employed

As a small business owner, I'm always trying to find ways to cut costs and boost the dependability of my services. To that end, I've become increasingly invested in learning about energy saving...

  • Member since 2018
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  • Aug 24, 2022
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Scrolling through my newsfeed this morning, I came across this story at the Kansas Reflector about the current problems facing Evergy’s energy efficiency plan in Kansas. Surprise surprise, regulators and some activist groups think the utility stands to make too much money. Here’s how the article sums up the drama: 

“Evergy, Kansas Corporation Commission staff and environmental and anti-poverty activists reached an agreement on a set of programs for Kansas earlier this month. But the KCC staff says it can’t support the plan to allow Evergy to recoup the costs of the programs from ratepayers. In short, staff says Evergy would get to keep too much money.” 

“The earnings opportunity “represents benefits retained by Evergy for shareholders, which are not enjoyed by customers, and we cannot support (earnings opportunity) levels this high,” the KCC staff’s filing says."

As you’d imagine, Evergy maintains that the programs would indeed provide a net benefit to customers. 

I don’t know enough of the specifics to pick a side in this fight. However, I do know it would be a shame if Kansas goes any longer without a basic energy efficiency package like this one. Neighboring Missouri has had a similar set of programs for years, and by most accounts they’ve created significant energy savings. Evergy’s Kansas proposal would result in savings equivalent to taking 45,000 cars off the road. Low hanging-fruit, if you ask me. 


 

Discussions
Julian Silk's picture
Julian Silk on Aug 25, 2022

Two things about this post:

1)  What Evergy's Federal taxes were may have some bearing on the fury of the Kansas commission.

2)  Missouri regulators approved Evergy's extension for Missouri of the program, even with Evergy's rates in Missouri.  See

https://psc.mo.gov/Electric/PSC_Approves_Change_in_Evergy_Missouri_West_DSIM_Charge--pr-23-18

Michael Keller's picture
Michael Keller on Aug 31, 2022

Why involve a middleman (Evergy)? The state should simply provide a tax rebate for HVAC and insulation upgrades, including interest on loans to finance such projects.

Do have a gnawing unease that Evergy and gas companies might turn around and raise rates because they are selling less product. That is exactly what occurred in California when water users significantly reduced water consumption in response to drought.

Henry Craver's picture
Thank Henry for the Post!
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