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Minutes for SB209 - Committee on Utilities

Short Title

Electric utilities and billing standards.

Minutes Content for Wed, Mar 15, 2017

Chairperson Olson opened the hearing on SB 209 - Electric utilities and billing standards.

Matt Sterling provided an overview of the bill. (Attachment 1)

Proponent Gary Aksamit presented in support of providing more transparency to Kansas ratepayers. (Attachment 2)

Proponent Michael Matheson presented regarding the possible advantages that unbundled bills might provide Kansas ratepayers. (Attachment 3)

Proponent written only testimony:

Jeff Glendening representing Americans for Prosperity. (Attachment 4)

Tracy McCormick representing Retail Energy Supply. (Attachment 5)

Committee questions and comments ensued.

Neutral Jeff McClanahan presented concerns about the costs of bill unbundling from the perspective of the Kansas Corporation Commission (KCC). (Attachment 6)

Opponent Laura Lutz presented concerns about potential customer confusion that might result from bill unbundling. (Attachment 7)

Opponent Colin Hansen presented concerns regarding the burden that the increased complexity might have on small utilities. (Attachment 8)

Opponent Whitney Damron questioned the need for proposed changes. (Attachment 9)

Opponent Kim Christiansen express concerns about the need for change and examined the forces behind the drive for this bill. (Attachment 10)

Opponent Kathleen O'Brien discussed the continued need for self governance of small cooperatives and the unnecessary increased costs that the proposed measures in this bill might cause them.  (Attachment 11)

Opponent Bruce Mueller explained that having access to additional information is more powerful than more lines of data on a bill. (Attachment 12)

Opponent Phil Wages presented from the perspective of a not-for-profit generation and transmission electric cooperative that serves as a energy wholesaler. (Attachment 13)

Opponent Darren Lynch presented concerns surrounding the instability he believes would result from the implementation of retail choice in Kansas.       (Attachment 14)

Opponent Shane Laws speculated that this bill is a step in a movement toward establishing the Retail Choice Act. (Attachment 15)

Opponent Clare Gustin expressed concerns that this bill is intended to support a companion bill referenced in the fiscal note that directs the Kansas Corporation Commission to adopt rules for retail choice by July 2018. (Attachment 16)

Committee questions and comments ensued.

Opponent written only testimony:

Riley Scott representing KCP&L (orignally standing in for Scott Jones, but yielded his time). (Attachment 17)

Earnest Kutzley representing AARP. (Attachment 18)

David Mehlhaff representing BPU.  (Attachment 19)

Steve Foss representing Free State Electric Cooperatives, Inc. and Pioneer Electric Cooperative, Inc. (Attachment 20)

Dale Coomes representing Heartland Rural Electrical Cooperative, Inc. (Attachment 21)

Tim Power representing DS&O Electric Cooperative, Radient Electric Corporation and Sumner Cowley Electric Corporation. (Attachment 22)

Terry Hobbs representing Western Coopertive  Electric Association, Inc. (Attachment 23)

Allen J. Miller representing Prairie Land Electric Cooperative/Norton and Rolling Hills Electric Cooperative, Inc./Beloit. (Attachment 24)

Greg Goetz representing Alfalfa Electric Cooperative, Inc.  (Attachment 25)





Kenneth J. Maginley representing Bluestem Electric Cooperative Association, Inc./ Wamego; Butler Rural Electric Cooperative Association, Inc./El Dorado; CMS Electric Cooperative, Inc./Meade; Flint Hills Electric Cooperative Association, Inc./Council Grove; Lane-Scott Electric Cooperative, Inc./Dighton; Lyon Coffey Electric Cooperative, Inc./Burlington; Ninnescah Electric Cooperative Association, Inc./Pratt; Sedgewick County Electric Cooperative Association, Inc./Cheney; and Twin Valley Electric Cooperative, Inc./Altamont.        (Attachment 26)

Katie Eisenhour representing Scott County Development Committee/Scott City. (Attachment 27)

Seeing no additional committee discussion or other conferees that wished to testify Chairperson Olson closed the hearing on the bill.