Description: Challenge to Kansas Corporation Commission's approval of rate increase that charged residential customers with distributed renewable energy sources more for electricity.
In re Westar Energy, Inc.
Filing Date Type File Action Taken Summary 04/03/2020 Opinion Download Judgments of Court of Appeals and Kansas Corporation Commission reversed and matter remanded to the Commission. Kansas Supreme Court Said Utilities Could Not Charge Distributed Energy Residential Customers Higher Rates. The Kansas Supreme Court held that a rate structure that charged residential utility customers more if they had distributed renewable energy sources was unlawfully discriminatory because it violated a Kansas statute enacted in 1980 that barred utilities from considering the use of renewable energy sources by a customer as a basis for establishing higher rates or charges. The court rejected the argument that a more recently enacted statute governing rate structure conflicted with and preempted the 1980 statute. The court described the concerns that led to policies favoring use of renewable energy sources, including oil and gas shortages and global climate change, and said these policies were “chosen by the policy makers in our Legislature and … cemented in Kansas law.”