PSC utility rate decision helps safeguard many electric customers

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FRANKFORT, Ky. (WTVQ) – Attorney General Daniel Cameron today announced that action by his Office of Rate Intervention (ORI) before the Kentucky Public Service Commission (PSC) helped save Kentucky ratepayers nearly $18 million in proposed electrical rate increases.

In June 2020, Kentucky Power, which has customers in 20 Eastern Kentucky counties, filed an application with the PSC seeking a 13.16 percent rate increase which would have amounted to about $70 million.

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Several groups, including the Attorney General’s Office of Rate Intervention and Kentucky Industrial Utility Customers, Inc., intervened last July, arguing the utility’s rationale for the increase was flawed.

THE PSC reduced the rate increase request by about $18 million.

The Attorney General’s office also advocated for Kentucky Power to use funds owed to ratepayers from the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act passed by Congress in 2017 to offset the approved increase. The PSC’s order authorizes this measure, meaning that more than $40 million annually will be returned to ratepayers over the next three years to help offset any increases.

“We know that COVID-19 has led to tough economic times for many Kentuckians, and we advocated for a plan to expedite the return of funds from the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act to customers. We were pleased that the PSC agreed to this plan, ensuring that most Kentucky Power customers will see only a small or, in some cases, no increase to their usage bill for the next three years,” Attorney General Daniel Cameron said.

The Attorney General and fellow intervenor, Kentucky Industrial Utility Customers, Inc. (KIUC), were able to get the PSC to recognize that Kentucky Power’s current business model utilized for maintaining and expanding transmission infrastructure is not sustainable.

The PSC is likely to revisit this issue in the next Kentucky Power rate case.

Kentucky Power is an investor-owned utility with customers in Boyd, Breathitt, Carter, Clay, Elliott, Floyd, Greenup, Johnson, Knott, Lawrence, Leslie, Letcher, Lewis, Magoffin, Martin, Morgan, Owsley, Perry, Pike, and Rowan counties.