Solar advocates concerned about Westar Energy plan
Solar energy advocates are concerned Westar Energy’s request for new financial setups for households with solar panels could take away the cost savings of installing the panels.
Mark Horst, a partner in Hutchinson-based King Solar, said Westar’s proposed new billing plans would add to costs for solar panel owners.
“If the proposal gets through as proposed by Westar, I don’t know that it’s going to eliminate solar installations, but it would make it not economically feasible for a lot of customers,” he said.
As part of a $152 million rate case Westar filed in March, the utility requested two new ways of calculating bills. The current plan, which includes a flat customer charge and charge per kilowatt-hour used, also would be available for most customers. Those who already have their own generation could stay on that plan if they want, said Gina Penzig, spokeswoman for Westar, but people who install new capacity after Oct. 28 would have to choose between the two new plans.