LG&E plan calls to raise fixed costs for all its customers - WDRB 41 Louisville News

LG&E plan calls to raise fixed costs for all its customers

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Some believe the proposal could have a negative impact on customers looking for incentives for alternative energy. Some believe the proposal could have a negative impact on customers looking for incentives for alternative energy.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – LG&E could soon raise its rates, but it won’t be based upon how much energy customers use.

The new rate structure was filed with the Kentucky Public Service Commission last Wednesday. It’s part of $2.2 billion plan by LG&E and Kentucky Utilities to raise revenue in order to improve existing infrastructure.

In order to pay for the improvements, the utilities company wants to raise the cost of the flat service charge on all bills.

Right now, for electric customers, that charge is $10.75. The new rate structure would move that to $22. For gas, the charge is $13.50, which would move to $24. This means if a customer has both, they would be paying $46 before using any energy.

“We feel like this would actually benefit our customers that have a harder time,” said LG&E Vice President of Communications Chris Whelan. “It takes those variables and puts them at a fixed, flat rate so they know what they're paying for.”

Some plan to fight the proposed rate hike.

“I know that high fixed rate charges have a disproportionate impact on low income people,” said (D) Bill Hollander, Louisville Metro Councilman for District 9.

Hollander also believes that it could have a negative impact on customers looking for incentives for alternative energy.

“It has the potential to minimize energy efficiency efforts, and solar is certainly one of them,” Hollander said.

However, LG&E says in order to offset the costs of the of the higher fixed rate, it plans to lower usage costs by 2 percent.

Hollander plans to file a resolution with Metro Council to have Metro Government present at the hearings with the Kentucky Public Service Commission.

If approved, the rate change would go into effect in summer of 2017. 

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