The Attorney General has announced that the Office of Rate Intervention has entered into a settlement with LG&E and KU that will save Kentucky ratepayers (including customers here in Russell County) $90 million annually – $33.2 million of that for residential customers.
Late last year, the utility companies proposed to the Public Service Commission a nearly $210 million increase in annual revenues. After studying the rate proposal, Beshear proposed the PSC dramatically reduce the rate request.
Beshear said his office was able to work with the utilities to hold the increase in the electric residential customer charge to 75 cents this year and 75 cents in 2018, for a long term increase of only $1.50 a month. The utilities originally asked to more than double the customer charge to $22, which would have been an $11.25 monthly increase.
Other aspects of the settlement filed Wednesday with the PSC include:
- The withdrawal of a smart meter project, which would cost customers more than $350 million over the life of the meters.
- An agreement by the utilities to provide shareholder contributions totaling nearly $1.5 million a year to help low-income residential customers defer utility costs.
- The creation of a limited rate pilot for schools in both utilites’ territories to help determine whether they use electricity in such a way to necessitate their own rate schedule.
The PSC will review the reasonableness of the settlement at its May 9th hearing in Frankfort.