The following information was released by the Sierra Club:
The Kansas Corporation Commission (KCC), which regulates utilities like Evergy, will hold a virtual public hearing to receive feedback from customers about the utility's first-ever energy efficiency program. Sierra Club and Kansas Appleseed encourage Evergy customers to demand more equitable energy efficiency programs during the hearing to ensure more investment, transparency, and accountability on how these programs will benefit communities that pay the highest portion of their income toward utility bills, known as energy burden (links to U.S. Dept. of Energy). Predominantly Black and Latino communities in Wichita and Kansas City pay a higher portion of their income on energy bills compared to predominantly white communities, which Sierra Club details in its Kansas Pays the Price Volume 2 report, released in November 2021.
Statement from Ty Gorman, Kansas Campaign Representative for Sierra Club's Beyond Coal Campaign:
"Energy efficiency is literally the most affordable, safest, and cleanest way to meet energy demand. Evergy needs to triple its energy efficiency goals because tens of thousands of Kansans shouldn't be involuntarily disconnected from their power every year as energy bills increase faster than income for many families. Improving the lives of thousands of Evergy customers while reducing total energy demand, reducing pollution, and creating family-sustaining jobs is what a clean energy transition looks like."
Statement from Teresa Woody, Litigation Director for Kansas Appleseed:
"Kansas Appleseed supports the expansion of Evergy's energy efficiency proposals to include more robust programs that directly benefit customers and communities with lower incomes in Kansas. As costs continue to rise and families face impossible choices between utilities and other necessities, there is no time to wait to invest in the wellbeing of our communities. The expanded programs proposed by Sierra Club and Kansas Appleseed could lower electric utility costs to those who pay the highest percentage of their income for those services, while at the same time reducing pollution and the effects on climate change for all Kansans."
Who: Kansas Corporation Commission and Evergy customers.
What: Public hearing on Evergy's energy efficiency proposal.
Where: Zoom. Evergy customers can register to testify on the KCC's Zoom page for the hearing. Speaking slots are first come, first serve. Video of the hearing will be broadcast on the KCC's YouTube channel. Public comments may also be submitted online through 5:00PM, July 8, 2022.
When: Monday, June 27, 2022. The hearing begins at 6:00PM.
Why: Public hearings are a critical part of the decision-making process of Commissioners at the KCC.
Resources: The joint filing from Kansas Appleseed and Sierra Club can be found here. Sierra Club created a calculator that allows people to see where they are on the energy burden index.
About the Sierra Club
The Sierra Club is America's largest and most influential grassroots environmental organization, with millions of members and supporters. In addition to protecting every person's right to get outdoors and access the healing power of nature, the Sierra Club works to promote clean energy, safeguard the health of our communities, protect wildlife, and preserve our remaining wild places through grassroots activism, public education, lobbying, and legal action.