EGEB: Kansas utilities overcharging green energy users is ruled illegal

In today’s Electrek Green Energy Brief (EGEB):

  • The Kansas Supreme Court rules that state utilities cannot price gouge solar and wind users.
  • Savannah becomes the fifth Georgia city to commit to 100% clean energy by 2050.
  • Reminder: Science and green energy can be fun. Check out Mystery Science live on Tuesday.

The Electrek Green Energy Brief (EGEB): A daily technical, financial, and political review/analysis of important green energy news.

Solar and wind win in Kansas

The Kansas Supreme Court has declared that state utilities Kansas Gas and Electric Co. and Westar Energy, which operate collectively as Evergy, were allowed by state regulators Kansas Corporation Commission (KCC) to engage in illegal price discrimination against residential wind and solar customers.

In other words, utilities cannot discriminate against green energy users who generate their own power, which Kansas law “clearly prohibits.” The court ruled in favor of Earthjustice, the Sierra Club, and Vote Solar, who challenged the KCC’s extra fees for solar and wind users. (You can read the decision here.)

The Topeka Capital-Journal reports that fees amounted to as much as $100 more a month. The judge remanded the case to the KCC for further action to correct the illegal practice.

Earthjustice attorney David Bender, who argued the case, said:

Kansans, like all Americans, have a right to the free solar energy delivered to their roofs every day without fear of illegal utility charges that serve only to preserve the utility’s anti-competitive monopoly and prop up uneconomic fossil fuels. We are happy the court agreed with us.

Savannah commits to net zero

Savannah became the fifth Georgia city to commit to reaching 100% renewable energy by 2050. Savannah joins Athens, Atlanta, Augusta, and Clarkston in their commitment to net zero.

City Council members unanimously approved the resolution via teleconference due to the state’s coronavirus stay-at-home order. Officials intend to develop an action plan within 18 months.

The city has a lot of work to do: The city is currently at about 6% renewable electricity. Interim targets include achieving 30% green energy by 2025 and 50% by 2030.

Georgia coastal cities are extremely vulnerable to climate change. According to the Atlanta Journal- Constitution (AJC), Savannah residents are extremely concerned about environmental equity and the green economy. Kevin Ionno, chair of the Climate Reality Project, Coastal Georgia Chapter, said “the commitment to clean energy will bring green jobs, pollution reduction, and lower energy costs to the residents who need it most.”

Learning about science and energy is fun

Got kids in the house bouncing off the walls while you’re socially isolated? Or maybe you’re just a kid at heart, like science, and are craving a bit of fun?

Remote learning website Mystery Science is at it again: On Tuesday April 7 at 1 p.m. ET (10 a.m. PT), science educator Mystery Doug will be holding a special 20-minute live science show online. Doug’s show is mostly aimed at kids aged 4-10 (but don’t let that stop you).

Doug will answer real kids’ questions about the current pandemic situation and also share a few fun surprises.

Go to to watch live, but if you can’t make it at that time, you can watch the recording after the event.

And here’s the Energy, Motion & Electricity link on Mystery Science’s website, too. Enjoy!

Photo: Wichita Eagle

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Avatar for Michelle Lewis Michelle Lewis

Michelle Lewis is a writer and editor on Electrek and an editor on DroneDJ, 9to5Mac, and 9to5Google. She lives in St. Petersburg, Florida. She has previously worked for Fast Company, the Guardian, News Deeply, Time, and others. Message Michelle on Twitter or at Check out her personal blog.