For Immediate Release
Contact Heidi Schoen: 314.677.4076
July 12, 2013
MISSOURI SOLAR ENERGY INDUSTRY CONCERNED ABOUT UTILITY EFFORT TO HINDER FUTURE USE OF SOLAR RESOURCES IN MISSOURI
Later today, the Missouri Solar Energy Industry Association (MOSEIA) is expected to file its response to KCP&L’s Missouri Public Service Commission filings where KCP&L claimed they had reached the total amount of rebates they will pay during this year.
Based on the statutory provisions enacted into law by over two thirds of Missourians voting for Proposition C in 2008, KCP&L and the other utilities must make the rebate payments to those customers who are choosing to install this affordable renewable energy. These installations provide energy security and independence to the families and businesses making these solar installations and they increase the power generation within the territory as a benefit for the rest of the retail customers.
After learning of KCP&L’s legal action, Dane Glueck, President of MOSEIA voiced his disbelief that KCP&L would make such a claim. “The only thing in this action we can agree with is that solar energy is very successful in Missouri. And that is why this past legislative session, we worked alongside KCP&L to phase out the rebate over time. However, we never dreamed KCP&L would try to claim those payments would end during this year nor did they ever give us any indication that was what they were thinking.”
Steve Jeffery, an attorney in St. Louis is representing MOSEIA in the case filed by KCP&L. Jeffery stated, “Based on Missouri law, I am uncertain how anyone could interpret the law to read that KCP&L should do anything other than continue to pay the solar rebates.”
KCP&L amortizes expenses for energy generation over the life of the asset (e.g. a coal plant) yet in the case of these solar installations, they are refusing to do so. Because the life of the solar installations is 30 years, these costs should be spread over that period of time, not declared as expenses in a single year.
Further, in spite of the fact that the law requires the benefits of solar be deducted from these expenses, KCP&L is not including in their calculations benefits such as peak shaving, transmission congestion mitigation, transmission loss reductions, human health and environmental benefits, and economic benefits.
KCP&L’s action puts into jeopardy thousands of jobs and millions of dollars of economic development at risk in our state. Solar has been one of the economic growth areas during these difficult economic times.
MOSEIA encourages the energy consumers in the Kansas City area to contact their local solar installers and schedule the installation of this affordable readily available renewable energy solar.
Other important facts:
- This filing was unexpected – KCP&L has never performed the calculation in the 5 years since passage of Missouri’s RES. MOSEIA has called for transparency and even filed a complaint with the PSC last year to enforce the law requiring the calculation – they have not complied until now.
- MOSEIA and its members helped pass proactive legislation this year to step down the rebate to zero in 2020 – HB 142. MOSEIA wants to be responsible stewards of ratepayer investments.
- KCP&L made $1.5 billion in revenue last year and $142 million in profits. It received a 9.3% rate increase in 2012, and its customers have seen rate increases almost every year over the past five years. Many of the increases have been due to the company’s over-reliance on coal, and the required clean-up costs. Solar is part of the solution to this problem.
MOSEIA is a non-profit trade organization representing in-state and national solar businesses and other non-profit entities dedicated to strengthening and expanding the solar industry and establishing a sustainable energy future for all Missourians. The Board of Directors and members are comprised of solar designers, developers, installers, community colleges with solar training programs and distributors and manufacturers. MOSEIA is a 70+ member organization, and currently conducts conferences and training in Missouri to advance the solar industry, and advocates for sensible solar policy for the state of Missouri.