KU rates to increase slightly

Kentucky Utility Co.'s rates will go up slightly under a settlement approved Thursday by the Public Service Commission.

Typical KU customers, the ones who uses 1,000 kilowatt hours of electricity a month, will see an 11-cent increase in their bills. The increase goes into effect Friday.

The company had estimated last month that the typical bill would go down by 60 cents a month.

The company's revenue still will decrease. But bills will rise a little because customers will lose credits that reflected savings when KU merged with Louisville Gas & Electric in 1998 and because a per-meter charge that goes into a fund to help low-income customers will increase by 5 cents a month, to 15 cents. KU will match the first $300,000 going into that fund, with that portion coming from shareholders instead of ratepayers.

Rates for the typical LG&E electric customer will increase by 21 cents a month. For LG&E gas customers, the increase will be $6.93 a month.

Last July, KU asked for a rate increase that would have boosted the typical bill by $4.50 a month and brought in an additional $22.2 million a year.

But negotiations with the state attorney general, large utility customers and others resulted in the proposed settlement announced Thursday.

Under the settlement, KU's annual revenue will decrease by $8.85 million.

Company officials said when the proposed settlement was announced that the reduced revenue would come out of the company's bottom line.

Not included in the monthly bill calculations are fuel adjustments and environmental costs that change monthly.