Meeting in Frankfort discusses potential Kentucky Power rate increase

Meeting in Frankfort discusses potential Kentucky Power rate increase
Published: Nov. 16, 2023 at 10:21 PM EST
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FRANKFORT, Ky. (WKYT) - Kentucky Power is requesting new base rates for customers. If approved, their request could mean an increase of 18.3 percent for the average residential customer.

“It’s really discouraging. We can’t do anything about it at all. I cannot believe the increase,” said a Kentucky Power customer, Laura Beckwith.

Beckwith lives in a close-knit Ashland community. She’s one of 163,000 Kentucky Power customers throughout 20 eastern Kentucky counties that could face the rate increase, if the Kentucky Public Service Commission approves it after a hearing held at the end of the month.

“Everything is just going up quicker than what we can catch up to it,” Beckwith said.

According to the PSC, Kentucky Power is trying to find a way to create nearly $94 million in new revenue, every year.

Kentucky Power said several severe weather events, a population decline in its service area, and the loss of several large commercial and industrial customers have made it harder to spread out the company’s fixed costs.

They say a rate hike is the main way to fix that.

But the company is also trying to finance $470 million in fixed costs, through securitization. They said that will lead to increased money revenue from interest payments and can soften the blow to customers.

But the PSC wont make any decisions before hearing from customers thesmselves, and those representing their interests, like the Attorney General’s Office.

“To make sure the proposal is good for customers and in the public’s interest. We want to make sure the customer will pay less under securization,” a PSC representative said.

For now, customers like Beckwith said they don’t see how they’ll ever be able to afford an increase like this proposed one.

“Groceries, everything. It’s just a simple fact, I cannot afford to do it, just like several people in this community.”

There is one more public information meeting on November 20 at 5 p.m. at the Pike County Courthouse.

Then the Commission will begin the public hearing in Frankfort on November 28 starting at 9 a.m.