Justia Utilities Law Opinion SummariesArticles Posted in Kansas Supreme Court
Hanson v. Kansas Corp. Commission
The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the lower courts that a natural gas utility company's invoicing practice was "unjust, unreasonable, [or] unfair" under Kan. Stat. Ann. 66-1,206(a), holding that the lower courts reached the correct conclusion.Plaintiffs complained to the Kansas Corporation Commission about Texas-Kansas-Oklahoma Gas, LLC's (TKO) billing practices. The Commission decided that Plaintiffs failed to carry their burden of proving that TKO's rates or practices with regard to them were unreasonable. On review, the district court agreed with Plaintiffs and remanded the case to the Commission to calculate how much TKO overbilled Plaintiffs. The court of appeals agreed that the Commission erred in its analysis of TKO's billing methodology but altered the district court's refund directive and ordered the Commission to decide an appropriate remedy. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) TKO's calculating method constituted an unlawful practice; and (2) the case is remanded to the Commission to fashion an appropriate remedy. View "Hanson v. Kansas Corp. Commission" on Justia Law
In re Joint Application of Westar Energy & Kansas Gas & Electric Co.
The Supreme Court reversed the judgment of the Kansas Corporation Commission approving a non-unanimous settlement agreement including certain rate design changes at issue in this case, holding that the new rate design violates Kansas law.In 2018, two utilities (Utilities) applied to the Commission for a rate increase. The application included a proposed rate increase of $52.6 million per year and changes in the residential rate design. The new rate structure was applicable only to residential distributed generation (DG) customers. Several parties intervened. Most of the parties reached a settlement agreement, but two of the objecting intervenors appealed. The court of appeals affirmed. The Supreme Court reversed, holding that the new rate design violates Kansas law because Kan. Stat. Ann. 66-117d clearly prohibits the Utilities from price discrimination against DG customers. View "In re Joint Application of Westar Energy & Kansas Gas & Electric Co." on Justia Law