Net Metering in Kansas

The State of Kansas adopted the Net Metering and Easy Connection Act in May 2009 (see K.S.A. 66-1263 through 66-1271). The Act, amended in 2014, established net metering for customers of the state's investor-owned utilities (IOUs). Under Kansas' net metering policy, small-scale generators receive credit for the electricity they generate.

In July 2010, the Kansas Corporation Commission adopted rules (K.A.R. 82-17-1 through 82-17-5) to implement the statute's net-metering standards. These rules include additional protection for the utility in the event of disruptive problems to the utility's system caused by a net-metered facility.

Eligibility

The state’s three IOUs—Westar Energy, Kansas City Power & Light, and Empire District—are required to offer net metering and to provide interested customers with a bi-directional meter (at no cost to the customer) on a first-come, first-served basis until the rated generating capacity of all net-metered systems equals 1% of the utility's peak demand during the previous year.

Electric cooperatives and municipal electric providers are not mandated to offer net metering by statute, but many have elected under their boards and membership to enact some form of net metering.  Contact your local electric cooperative or municipal electric provider to obtain the details of their offerings. 

Customer-generator means the owner or operator of a net metered facility which:

  • is powered by a renewable energy resource;
  • is located on a premises owned, operated, leased or otherwise controlled by the customer generator;
  • is interconnected and operates in a parallel phase and synchronization with an affected utility and is in compliance with the safety standards established by the affected utility;
  • is intended primarily to offset part or all of the customer-generator’s own electrical energy requirements; and
  • contains a mechanism, approved by the utility, that automatically disables the unit and interrupts the flow of electricity back onto the supplier’s electricity lines in the event that service to the customer-generator is interrupted.

Renewable energy resources include:

  • wind;
  • solar thermal sources;
  • photovoltaic cells and panels;
  • dedicated crops grown for energy production;
  • cellulosic agricultural residues;
  • plant residues;
  • methane from landfills or from wastewater treatment;
  • clean and untreated wood products such as pallets;
  • new and existing hydropower;
  • fuel cells using hydrogen produced by one of the above-named renewable energy resources; and
  • energy storage that is connected to any renewable generation by means of energy storage equipment including, but not limited to, batteries, fly wheels, compressed air storage and pumped hydro.

Net metering is limited to relatively small generators.

For customer-generators that began operating a renewable energy resource under an interconnect agreement with the utility prior to July 1, 2014:

  • Residential customer-generators may generate electricity subject to net metering up to 25 kilowatts; and
  • Commercial, industrial, school, local government, state government, federal government, agricultural and institutional customer-generators may generate electricity subject to net metering up to 200 kilowatts.

For customer-generators that begin operating a renewable energy resource under an interconnect agreement with the utility after July 1, 2014:

  • Residential customer-generators may generate electricity subject to net metering up to 15 kilowatts;
  • Commercial, industrial, religious institution, local government, state government, federal government, agricultural and industrial customer-generators may generate electricity subject to net metering up to 100 kilowatts, unless otherwise agreed to by the utility and the customer-generator; and
  • School customer-generators may generate electricity subject to net metering up to 150 kilowatts.

Customer-generators shall appropriately size their generation to their expected load.

Net Excess Generation

Energy generated by a customer-generator in excess of their monthly consumption is considered net excess generation (NEG).

For any customer-generator that began operating a renewable energy resource under an interconnect agreement with the utility prior to July 1, 2014:

  • NEG shall be credited forward from month-to-month at a ratio of one-to-one against the customer-generator's energy consumption in subsequent months.
  • Any NEG credit remaining in a net metering customer's account on March 31 of each year shall expire.

For any customer-generator that began operating a renewable energy resource under an interconnect agreement with the utility on and after July 1, 2014:

  • At the end of each billing period, NEG shall be credited to the customer at a rate of 100% of the utility's monthly system average cost of energy per kilowatt hour

For all customer-generators, starting January 1, 2030:

At the end of each billing period, NEG shall be credited to the customer at a rate of 100% of the utility's monthly system average cost of energy per kilowatt hour

Utility Reporting

By March 1 of each year, utilities are required to submit an annual report that includes the following information about the net-metered facilities in their service territories: type of generation resources, zip code, first year of interconnection, any excess kilowatt-hours that expired at the end of the previous year, generator size, and number/type of meters.

K.S.A. 66-1271 provides that each kilowatt of nameplate capacity of all net metered facilities shall count toward the affected utility's compliance with Kansas's Renewable Energy Standard (K.S.A. 66-1256, 66-1257, and 66-1259).  Renewable energy credits (from energy produced by a net metered facility, for example) that a utility allocates toward its attainment of Kansas’s renewable energy standard cannot be sold or used for any other purpose.

More Details

More details about utility compliance can be found in these KCC dockets:

See utility websites for additional information about net metering policies and interconnection guidelines:

 

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