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The Kentucky Solar Energy Society's mission is to promote the use of renewable energy, energy efficiency, and conservation in Kentucky through education, advocacy, networking, and demonstration of practical applications.

NEWS

August 7, 2020

Kentucky Power Company Files First Rate Case Seeking to Change Net Metering Terms - KySES Joins Other Community Advocates to Formally Intervene in Rate Case

On May 29, 2020, Kentucky Power Company (KPC) filed a Notice of Intent with the Public Service Commission to open a general rate case. Their filing includes proposed changes to their net metering tariff which would sharply reduce the value of solar generation for their future net metering customers. It would place solar customers into a complicated time-of-use rate structure and would greatly under-value excess solar generation fed back to the utility.  

KPC's filing also proposes large rate increases for residential customers - a 25% increase to both the fixed customer charge (rising to $17.50 per month) and the energy charge (rising to $0.12/kWh). During this time of economic crisis, with so many families struggling through the coronavirus pandemic, KYSES stands opposed to these large rate increases. 

KySES will be co-intervening in the rate case along with the Mountain Association and Kentuckians For The Commonwealth (KFTC) and will be represented by Tom FitzGerald of the Kentucky Resources Council. Our petition to intervene was approved by the PSC on August 5, 2020, despite KPC's motion objecting to KySES' intervention. 

KySES has joined the Mountain Association and KFTC to intervene in the rate case to advocate for fair solar net metering policies and reasonable rates for the customers of Kentucky Power. Formally intervening in the rate case allows KySES and its partners to fully engage in the ratemaking process with testimony, discovery, and cross-examination.

This is the first rate case filed by a Kentucky electric utility since passage of the controversial anti-net metering bill in 2019. SB100 directed the PSC to determine the net metering rates used to compensate solar customers, a measure solar advocates fear could lead to the devaluation of customer-owned solar energy and the suppression of Kentucky’s emerging rooftop solar market. As the first rate case that will address changes to net metering, this case may establish precedent for how the PSC will handle the net metering issue for all of the state’s regulated utilities.

KySES member Seth Long is a resident of Ermine, Kentucky, the Executive Director of HOMES Inc., and a net metering customer of Kentucky Power. “Solar energy has enormous potential for the people of Eastern Kentucky,” said Mr. Long. “The cost of solar power has fallen 80% to 90% in the last 10 years, making it accessible to so many more people. Rooftop solar could help so many people in our area get control of their rapidly rising energy bills and gain some financial security. That’s why I am so disappointed with Kentucky Power’s proposal to cut the compensation rate for net metering and undermine their customer’s ability to benefit from solar energy.”

Concerned citizens may file public comments in this rate case. To send comments via email, include the case number (2020-00174) within the subject line and send to psc.info@ky.gov. Provide your full name and place of residence in the body of the e-mail. You can also mail your comment: Public Service Commission, 211 Sower Boulevard, Post Office Box 615, Frankfort, Kentucky, 40602-0615. Public comments, although accepted at any time, are suggested to be sent by the hearing scheduled for November 18-19, 2020. Case documents may be found at: https://psc.ky.gov/PSC_WebNet/ViewCaseFilings.aspx?case=2020-00174  

For more information, please contact Andy McDonald, vice-chair, Kentucky Solar Energy Society, at 502-699-2553 or Andy@ApogeeClimate.org.


April 30, 2020 

Net Metering still available in Kentucky - no utility action to change rates, so far. 

The Kentucky legislature passed SB 100 in 2019 to make changes to net-metering regulations. However, changes to net metering will not go into effect until the Public Service Commission (PSC) rules on rate cases brought by each electric utility. Therefore, full retail-rate net metering is still available in Kentucky for any systems installed before utility rate cases are resolved.


SB 100 allows utilities to recover their costs associated with net metering from net metering customers and directs the PSC to rule on how this should be done. These changes will be addressed through rate cases brought before the PSC by electric utilities.  


SB 100 allows all systems installed before the new utility rates are established to be grandfathered for 25 years under the existing net metering rules and receive full retail credit for excess power supplied to the grid. 


As of April 30, 2020, no utilities have filed rate cases to change their net metering tariffs, therefore Kentuckians still have access to traditional net metering. 



February 12, 2020

'Energy for the People Lobby Day' 

The 2020 'Energy for the People' lobby day was a real success.  50 people came to Frankfort to lobby legislators.  Many participants reported worthwhile conversations with legislators at the end of the day.


But, despite our best efforts, HB 323, which would have fixed problems with last year's SB100, was not acted on by the House Natural Resources and Energy Committee.  Calls and messages to the House leadership and to the Republican members of that committee urging them to take action were to no avail this year.


 


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