Advocates Fear Westar's New Billing Plans Could Nix Solar Savings
TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Solar energy advocates have raised concerns about Westar Energy's request for new financial setups for Kansas households with solar panels. Mark Horst, a partner in Hutchinson-based King Solar, says the new plans could eliminate the cost savings of installing solar panels. The Topeka Capital-Journal reports that as part of a $152 million rate case Westar filed in March, the utility requested two new ways of calculating bills. Westar spokeswoman Gina Penzig says the goal isn't to harm solar panel users, but to ensure they pay something toward the costs of operating the grid, since solar energy doesn't cover most homes' total energy needs. Horst says under either new plan, it would take longer for solar users to see savings from solar energy, lessening the incentive for using solar.