For more information contact: Linda Berry, (785) 271-3269 or Samir Arif, (785) 271-3188
March 31, 2016
KCC Approves Westar Transmission Delivery Charge Request
Topeka, KS - Today, the Kansas Corporation Commission (KCC) approved Westar Energy's request to update its Transmission Delivery Charge (TDC). This approval is subject to refund should an investigation by KCC staff determine the increase is excessive. The new charges will take effect April 1. The KCC staff report is expected in May, with the Commission issuing a final determination later this year. The full text of the order can be found at: http://estar.kcc.ks.gov/estar/ViewFile.aspx?Id=1b78918b-0c90-443f-ad44-703bbfb17542
TDC charges appear as a separate line item on customers' bills. The $25 million request approved today will raise the TDC charge about $4 per month for residential customers. The KCC staff audits TDCs to ensure that Westar's request is based on actual costs and applicable laws. The KCC cannot, however, alter the amount in the request. The rate for transmission services is set by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC).
The TDC is calculated by how much demand, on average, different customer classes place on the transmission system over the year. It is measured by looking at the peak demand for each particular month (highest hour kW usage) and then analyzing how much of that demand was contributed by each customer class. This produces 12 percentage figures, one for each month, of the amount of demand each class placed on the system during those time frames. The 12 Coincident Peak allocation is the average of each of those 12 monthly calculations. In accordance with Westar's TDC tariff, Westar must update this allocation between classes after every full rate case, or at least every five years.
In a related development, yesterday FERC approved a settlement agreement negotiated between the KCC and Westar Energy that will refund approximately $10 million to retail customers and save ratepayers approximately $8 million annually in transmission delivery charges. The KCC filed a complaint (Docket Number EL14-93-000) with FERC on August 20, 2014, alleging Westar's return on equity (ROE) on transmission line rates was unreasonably high. The KCC and Westar subsequently reached a settlement agreement to reduce the base ROE from 10.8% to 9.8%. KCC staff will use the reduced ROE during the auditing process of the $25 million TDC increase, scheduled to take effect tomorrow.