The state Public Service Commission is seeking the public's input on whether Kentucky's natural gas markets should be opened to more retail competition.
The request comes as part of a study commissioned by the Kentucky General Assembly to examine whether retail competition would benefit residents and small-volume commercial customers.
Under such a change, people would have the option of buying natural gas from other marketers. Customers now purchase natural gas from companies that own and operate local distribution networks. Those companies buy natural gas from suppliers and resell it to their customers. The companies must pass on the costs of natural gas dollar for dollar and make their profits by charging delivery and other fees, according to a PSC statement. With more retail competition, customers would have the option of buying natural gas from a different company but would continue to pay the fees to the local company.
One local company, Columbia Gas of Kentucky, has operated a program like that, called Columbia Customer Choice, since 2000.
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Written comments may be mailed to the PSC at P.O. Box 615, Frankfort, Ky. 40602 or faxed to (502) 564-9625. They can also be submitted electronically by visiting the PSC's Web site, http://psc.ky.gov. A hearing on the issue will be Oct. 19 at the PSC offices, at 211 Sower Boulevard in Frankfort.