The complete list of Kansas solar incentives and tax credits for 2022, plus how to take advantage.
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Despite being the Sunflower State, Kansas isn’t especially pro-solar. This is, in part, because wind power really took off in Kansas after the introduction of the state’s Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) in 2009. The RPS called for 20% of energy production in Kansas to come from renewables by 2020, and wind quickly met that goal, meaning that solar barely got a look in.
According to the American Wind Energy Association (now part of American Clean Power), Kansas generated 21.7% of its electricity from wind energy in 2014. With the RPS met some six years early, the Kansas Legislature voted in May 2015 to change the standard to a voluntary goal instead. The state didn’t rest on its laurels, though. The Wind Powers America Annual Report 2019 revealed that in 2018 both Iowa and Kansas generated over 40% of their electricity from wind power.
With all the focus on wind in Kansas, there aren’t many incentives for solar installations. The good news, though, for homeowners in Kansas is that the state gets slightly more than average peak-sun hours and still offers net metering and a state property tax exemption. Add those incentives to the Federal Solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC), and home solar looks a lot brighter in Kansas than you might think.
Kansas State Solar Incentives
|State property tax exemption for solar||Value added by home solar is exempt from property tax assessments for 10 years in Kansas|
|Net metering in Kansas||Kansas mandates net metering but utilities are only required to compensate customers at wholesale/avoided cost rates – the Demand Charge for solar customers has, however, been deemed unconstitutional by the Kansas Supreme Court|
State property tax exemptions in Kansas
Kansas offers residents who install solar at home a Renewable Energy Property Tax Exemption. This helps homeowners avoid having to pay additional property taxes resulting from value added by installing solar. The exemption lasts for 10 years, meaning homeowners could pay off the full cost of their home solar system before any associated property tax increases.
Net metering in Kansas
Kansas mandates that certain utilities offer net metering to customers, though only stipulates a wholesale rate for buy-back for customers who installed solar after 2014. All investor-owned utilities have to provide the opportunity for net metering in Kansas. Some public utilities and cooperatives also offer customers net metering programs, though they aren’t required to by law.
Credits vary between utilities, usually depending on the homeowners’ service tariff.
Evergy credits solar customers for any surplus energy exported to the grid at a rate of 100% of Evergy Kansas Metro’s monthly system average cost of energy per kilowatt hour. Credits are used to offset the bill and are carried forward month to month. At the annual billing date, any unused credits expire, with no payout to customers at this point or if you move and have unused credits when you close your account. Customers who install solar are still charged a minimum monthly bill, as defined in Evergy Kansas Metro’s tariff.
For customers of Evergy living in the Kansas Metro service area, note that the company is no longer legally allowed to place an additional Demand Charge on homeowners who install solar. This charge, which was as high as $9/kW between June and September, was deemed unconstitutional by the Kansas Supreme Court in April 2020. Customers who paid the additional charges (which were sometimes as high as $100 per month) received refunds in 2021. Evergy’s rates were also amended to bring charges for Kansas Metro customers into alignment with the rest of Evergy’s Kansas customers.
Final thoughts on state solar incentives in Kansas
The unconstitutional Demand Charge undoubtedly set back residential solar in Kansas. After introducing the charge in October 2018, Evergy had around a third fewer interconnection requests for new home solar through October 2019. Scrapping the Demand Charge means that for many homeowners, residential solar is back in the black.
With the Federal Solar ITC looking likely to be extended through 2034 and a 10-year property tax exemption still in place, the future of residential solar is looking much brighter in Kansas.