January 31, 2011
Commission approves Westar partnership with Efficiency Kansas, grants lost revenue guarantee
TOPEKA, Kansas, January 31, 2011— The Kansas Corporation Commission issued an order today approving Westar Energy’s application to become an Efficiency Kansas Partner. In the same order, the Commission approved, over CURB’s objections, an unprecedented "lost revenue" recovery mechanism.
The Commission approved Westar’s Simple Savings energy efficiency program. Partnering with Efficiency Kansas, and making use of $37 million of American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funding, Westar will offer its customers no-interest loans for energy efficiency improvements and allow customers to pay the loans back on monthly utility bills over 15 years. Customers can contact Westar Energy about scheduling an appointment to have a home-energy auditor evaluate your home. There are fees involved for the audit. However, Efficiency Kansas is offering rebates to help defray costs.
Westar also asked the Commission for a "lost revenue" recovery mechanism. If Westar customers use the Simple Savings program to improve their homes and use less energy, Westar will sell less electricity and make less revenue. Westar asked the Commission to protect it from losing any revenue. The Commission will allow Westar to bill its customers, dollar-for-dollar, for any revenue it loses after customers use the simple savings program. CURB fought this unprecedented revenue guarantee, arguing that in its own policy orders the Commission said "it doesn’t favor lost revenue mechanisms". In its order, the Commission said that when it said "does not favor" what it meant was "we might consider". No other utility has ever been given this level or revenue guarantee.
Efficiency Kansas is run by the Kansas Corporation Commission’s State Energy Office. Further information can be found at www.efficiencykansas.com.
KCC Docket No. 10-WSEE-775-TAR