Wednesday was the final opportunity to be vocal about Kentucky Power’s plan to raise electric bills by 15 percent. The Public Service Commission approved rate increases for the utility in 2006, 2010 and 2015, and the current request would tack about 20 dollars more onto the average monthly electric bill. Community organizer Steve Brewer contends people have had enough.
Kentucky Power says its request came after great consideration, and claims is needed to recover lost revenue because of declined load, fully recover operating costs, and maintain a reasonable rate of return. The P-S-C will accept public comments through December 6th when an evidentiary hearing in the case will be held in Frankfort.
As pastor of Graham Memorial Presbyterian Church in Whitesburg, Reverend Jerry Utt says these rate hikes impact him as both a residential and commercial customer. He gets calls from folks who don’t know where else to turn when they can’t afford their electric bills.
Attorney General Andy Beshear has been vocal in his opposition and has suggested that the utility better control spending and reduce its return to shareholders. While Kentucky Power contends it has made many cost-saving measures, Brewer is doubtful.
Kentucky Power says the rate increase would provide about 60 million dollars in additional revenue. The Public Service Commission must make a decision by May 18th of next year.