Kansas Commission Issues Proposed Net Metering Rules

On April 8, 2010, the Kansas Corporation Commission issued proposed regulations for net metering.  These come as a result of the 2009 Net Metering and Easy Connection Act, which allowed net metering for residential systems up to 25 kW, and up to 200 kW for non-residential systems. The act also requires utilities to offer net metering until 1% of the utility’s peak demand has been reached. Utilities are not allowed to charge the customer any additional standby, capacity, interconnection or other fees that are not charged to non-generators.  Utilities must also provide a bidirectional meter to the customer at no charge, but may charge for any additional metering or distribution equipment necessary to accommodate the customer’s facility.

While the KCC proposed rules allude to the specifications in the 2009 Act, they do not actually outline any of these specifications.  Instead, the rules read more like guidelines for protective measures utilities should take to protect themselves from net-metered systems.  Interestingly, rather than including an indemnification clause, the rules specify that tariffs should require that “no net metered facility shall damage the utility’s system or equipment or present an undue hazard to utility personnel.”  Also, the proposed rules provide definitions for several terms (mostly IEEE and UL standards) that are never used elsewhere in the rules.  Under the rules, renewable energy credits associated with net metering systems are to be used by utilities for RPS compliance and do not belong to the customer generator. What is most confusing about these rules is that they seem to be a mix of interconnection references and net metering provisions.

The Kansas Corporation Commission will conduct a public hearing on June 10, 2010. All interested parties may submit written comments on the rules prior to the hearing. More information about the public hearing is available on the KCC website.

 

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