Concentric Energy Advisors
The Concentric Connection • May, 2020
Concentric Energy Advisors
Renewable Distributed Generation and Pricing Challenges

By: Ralph Zarumba, Vice President and Tom O’Neill, Jr., Consultant

In April 2020, the Kansas Supreme Court (KSC) overruled the Kansas Corporation Commission and a lower court’s order on a tariff which Evergy, the local power utility, explicitly developed for customers operating behind the meter Renewable Distributed Generation (RDG) systems.

The KSC opinion stated that the requirement for RDG customers to take service under a separate tariff from their non-RDG peers constituted discrimination under K.S.A. 11-117d of the Kansas Public Utilities Act, which states:

“No electric or gas utility providing electrical or gas service in this state shall consider the use of any renewable energy source other than nuclear by a customer as a basis for establishing higher rates or charges for any service or commodity sold to such customer nor shall any such utility subject any customer utilizing any renewable energy source other than nuclear to any other prejudice or disadvantage on account of the use of any such renewable energy source.”

This emphasizes how legal venues such as the KSC offer opinions based upon legal interpretations and not the broader policy issues that state and federal regulators consider in evaluating pricing designs proposed and implemented by regulated utilities. Provided below is a discussion of many of the various issues that should be addressed in developing a pricing design that fulfills the needs of current and potential RDG customers while limiting the adverse impact on other customers.

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Concentric Energy Advisors
Responding to a Severe Economic Downturn

By: Bob Yardley, Senior Vice President

The current economic downturn will likely spare no one, including utilities and their customers, communities, and employees. While this presents operating and financial challenges for utilities, it also creates opportunities to leverage their public service standing by helping customers and communities during a time of need. However, a response calls for a sense of urgency and innovative solutions.

Our hospitals provide inspiration. Despite facing serious financial challenges, hospitals in the hardest hit areas have repurposed their organizations: converting entire floors to ICUs, reassigning and retraining staff, and engaging in outreach to other hospitals throughout the world for best practices.

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