Kansas Adopts Net Metering Rules

 On July 9, 2010, the Kansas Corporation Commission approved net metering regulations as required by the 2009 Net Metering and Easy Connection Act.  In April of this year, the Kansas Corporation Commission issued proposed regulations to which the KCC only made minor changes before issuing a final approval.  The original legislation specified that utilities allow 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. The Act also specifies that 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.

While the KCC rules allude to the specifications in the 2009 Act, they do not actually outline any of these specifications. These rules outline a few provisions for interconnection but they are not substantive enough to warrant calling them interconnection procedures. In essence, they provide utilities with a wide range of discretion in applying interconnection terms to customers. It appears that utilities have a choice in requiring a utility external disconnect switch, installed at the customer’s expense. Overall, while it is a step forward that Kansas now has a ruleset in place, the interconnection provisions are largely regarded as a hindrance to customer-sited renewable energy.

 

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