LG&E customers to see lower rate increase after settlement – 89.3 WFPL News Louisville

Customers of Louisville Gas and Electric and Kentucky Utilities can expect their utility bills to increase at a lower rate following a settlement agreement with opponents of the rate increase.

The deal reduces the proposed rate increase by about $ 78 per year for a typical LG&E customer with gas and electricity, assuming the Civil Service Commission accepts the proposal. If approved by the PSC, the new tariffs will take effect on July 1.

Residential customers

The average LG&E customer with both electricity and gas can still expect their bill to increase by about $ 96 per year the first year, and about $ 137 each year thereafter. This change is due to a one-year credit on the economic assistance bill that utilities have proposed to help mitigate the first-year increase in the new tariffs.

Under the agreement, LG&E will not change the current residential basic service charges and agrees not to increase base rates again for at least four years. LG&E has also agreed to increase contributions to help low-income customers.

The regulation does not address the rate that rooftop solar customers can expect to receive for the excess electricity they put back into the grid.

Business customers

Louisville Climate Action Network executive director Sarah Lynn Cunningham said small businesses will also have larger bills as part of the settlement.

Commercial electricity customers would see fixed service charges increase from 11% to 12% depending on the size of their service, while consumption rates would increase by 14%. Commercial gas customers would see a 17-20% increase in fixed charges and 6% in usage rates, Cunningham said.

Cunningham is concerned that small businesses have not adequately raised their voices in the tariff matter.

“I think that’s enough to put people out of business, some companies that use a lot of power,” Cunningham said.

Settlement Agreement

The utility’s deal to reduce the increase was reached with more than a dozen different parties, including Attorney General Daniel Cameron, the US Department of Defense who advocates for low-income clients such as the Mountain Association.

Cameron’s office said the settlement would save taxpayers more than $ 113 million compared to the utility’s original proposal.

In a press release, LG&E said the increases would help the utility invest in safe and reliable service for customers, including upgrades to power lines, gas lines and substation equipment.

“These are difficult and at times emotionally charged subjects, further complicated by the more difficult conditions presented by COVID-19,” said Kent Blake, chief financial officer of LG&E and KU. “However, all parties have worked together in a professional manner to mitigate the impact on customers to the extent possible, while providing utilities the opportunity to recoup their costs to provide safe and reliable service.”

Kentucky Homelessness and Housing Coalition executive director Adrienne Bush said the settlement is an improvement on the original proposal, but continues to place an additional financial burden on low-income clients at a cost. when customers are already trying to get out of debt caused by the pandemic.

“It provides some stability, in terms of, we kind of know what to expect now,” Bush said. “But overall, we don’t think this rate hike is necessary at this point.”

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