Kentucky Utilities customers to pay more after rate hike approved

FRANKFORT, Ky. (WTVQ) – Kentucky Utilities customers will pay more for electricity beginning in July after the Kentucky Public Service Commission approved a rate increase.

The commission, which regulates utility companies, says the average KU customer will see an increase of $7.92 a month in their bill.

The rate increase is lower than KU requested and lower than the intervenor, the Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government, had originally agreed on, according to the commission.

As part of the commission’s order, which was released Wednesday, KU will not seek another rate increase until 2025.

KU serves 77 counties in Kentucky.

While the agreement means higher bills, it could have been more. That drew praise from consumer groups like the AARP.

In a statement, the AARP commended the Public Service Commission and all the intervening parties for lowering the LG&E/KU rate hike and securing a four year “Stay-Out” commitment from further base rate increases until July 1, 2025.

AARP also applauds the PSC’s decision to not raise the basic monthly customer charge. The PSC’s previous approval of increasing such charges made controlling energy bills more difficult. Today’s order halts that trend.

“When so many in our state are already struggling with the economic fallout of the pandemic, many could not have afforded the proposed 12 percent rate hike in their electric bills and a 9 percent increase on gas bills,” the AARP said.

“Utilities are always a big pocketbook concern for older ratepayers and their families, many of whom are struggling to balance paying utility bills during the pandemic along with caregiving expenses, buying food and medicine. We thank the Public Service Commission for giving ratepayers a voice in this case at its virtual hearings and delivering relief in its final orders,” added  Charlotte Whittaker, AARP Kentucky state president.

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