Topeka, Kansas, May 28, 2015 – A new poll conducted by Magellan Strategies and commissioned by The Alliance for Solar Choice (TASC) found that 73% of Kansans agree that the opportunity for homeowners to adopt solar energy is an important part of providing choice and competition in the Kansas electricity market. The solar industry created one out of every 78 new jobs in the United States last year, and upon learning that information 79% of Kansans agree that Kansas could benefit from new jobs created by the growing solar industry.
“Solar jobs in Kansas have been increasing at a rate over 30% each year; these are good-paying, skilled jobs that are at risk if Westar attempts to eliminate solar competition”, said Aron Cromwell, CEO Cromwell Solar.
Currently, Westar Energy awaits the Kansas Corporation Commission’s ruling on a proposal that would impose higher tariffs on solar customers in its service territory. The proposed change would force solar customers onto discriminatory rates with high monthly charges that will stop the growing solar market in Kansas. The Alliance for Solar Choice and Cromwell Solar have petitioned to intervene in the rate case to advocate for residential rates that encourage consumer energy choice. Westar has opposed both parties’ participation in the case.
Poll results show that 76% of Westar customers oppose Westar’s proposal to impose a tariff fee on customers with solar panels. With 80% of Republicans and 75% of Democrats agreeing that their utilities’ positions on clean energy are based on what’s best for these companies’ profits, the results call into question Westar Energy’s motives in proposing this anti-solar change. “It is rare to see this level of bipartisan support for anything, but it is clear from these results that Kansans will not stand for Westar Energy or any utility to take away their ability to install solar,” said David Flaherty, CEO of Magellan Strategies.
Westar’s rate case is pending before the Kansas Corporation Commission. Public hearings are planned for July 21 and 23. The Commission should issue an order by the fall.
The poll consisted of 747 registered voters in Kansas: 45% Republican, 25% Democrat and 30% Independent. For a detailed memo on poll results, see here.
About The Alliance for Solar Choice
The Alliance for Solar Choice (TASC) leads the rooftop solar advocacy across the country. Founded by the largest rooftop companies in the nation, TASC represents the vast majority of the market. Its members include: Demeter Power, Silevo, SolarCity, Solar Universe, Sunrun, Verengo, and Zep. http://allianceforsolarchoice.com.
About Cromwell Solar
Cromwell Solar is a solar design and installation firm based in Lawrence, Kansas performing residential, commercial, and institutional solar work across Kansas and Western Missouri. More information at http://CromwellSolar.com.