Gov. Laura Kelly outlined intentions Tuesday to submit an executive reorganization order to the Kansas Legislature creating an independent state energy office to work on policy development and planning outside jurisdiction of the Kansas Corporation Commission.
A report by consultants with London Economics International presented to the 2020 Legislature recommended Kansas fall in line with more than two-thirds of states by developing a comprehensive plan to guide energy policy.
"The first step toward a comprehensive state energy plan is building an infrastructure for energy policy discussions," the Democratic governor said. "That means building an independent energy office that is focused on implementing an inclusive, data-driven vision for the energy future of our state."
In 2008, Kansas disbanded the Kansas Energy Council, which sought to take a strategic approach to development of the state's energy system. The three-member Kansas Corporation Commission is responsible for regulating utilities in the state.
Kelly said the new energy office's would work on formation of an energy marketplace that affordably and efficiently meets needs of business and residential consumers. The office should strive to take advantage of two decades of success in wind power production and emphasize potential of energy efficiency programs, she said.
The executive order will be submitted to the Legislature within 30 days, the governor said. The restructuring would become effective July 1 unless the Senate or House takes action on the order within 60 days of her submission.
The first phase of London Economics' study delved into competitiveness of Kansas’ electric rates, the current rate-setting process, balancing utility profits and public-interest objectives, and expenditures on transmission and renewable energy resources.