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Public Service Commission sets public meetings in utility rate case

The state’s Public Service Commission has scheduled public meetings to get comment on requested utility rate increases. The Lexington meeting is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. April 18.
The state’s Public Service Commission has scheduled public meetings to get comment on requested utility rate increases. The Lexington meeting is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. April 18. palcala@herald-leader.com

The Kentucky Public Service Commission will hold public meetings in Louisville, Lexington and Madisonville to present information and receive comments on the requests for rate increases by the Kentucky Utilities Co. and the Louisville Gas & Electric Co.

“These meetings will allow the public to learn about the PSC’s ratemaking process and to present their views directly to members of the Commission as we prepare to consider whether the proposed rates are fair, just and reasonable,” PSC chairman Michael Schmitt said in a news release.

The Lexington meeting is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. April 18 at the Northside Branch, Lexington Public Library, 1733 Russell Cave Road.

The meetings will begin with an information session, during which PSC staff will explain how rates are set and the PSC’s review process. The presentation will include an overview of the utility applications. Public comments will follow the information session.

Both LG&E and KU are subsidiaries of the PPL Corp. Kentucky Utilities has about 516,000 electric customers in 77 counties across Kentucky. Louisville Gas & Electric has about 403,000 electric customers in nine counties in the Louisville area and 322,000 natural gas customers in 17 counties.

Kentucky Utilities has proposed to increase its electricity rates across all classes of customers to generate an additional $103.1 million in revenue each year — an increase of about 6.4 percent. The company estimates that the base rate portion of the monthly bill for residential customers would, on average, rise by $7.16, to $122.49, an increase of about 6.2 percent from the current monthly average of $115.33.

LG&E has proposed to increase its electricity rates across all classes of customers to generate an additional $93.6 million in revenue a year — an increase of about 8.5 percent. The company estimates that the base rate portion of the average monthly bill for residential customers would rise by $9.64 to $103.07, an increase of about 10.3 percent from the current average of $93.43.

KU and LG&E say the rate increases are needed to pay for systemwide installation of new technology to improve safety and reliability. The technology includes advanced metering infrastructure (also known as “smart” meters) that allows meters to be read remotely and automates the process of detecting and locating outages, thus speeding repairs.

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