Louisville Metro Council passes 2% LG&E fee increase

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) - LG&E has plans to submit a request on Nov. 26 with the Kentucky Public Service Commission to increase revenues through base rate adjustments.

The company says it's asking for an overall increase of $30 million in revenue, which is a 2.7 percent increase for its electric business. LG&E is also asking for a $14 million increase in revenue, which equates to a 4.2 percent increase for its natural gas business.

The company says electric customers would see a rise of about $2.75 per month, while natural gas customers could possibly increase payments by $2.60 per month.

Bearno's By the Bridge Owner George Timmering says thousands of pizzas are made here each week. October through March is the busiest time of the year, but it's also when the business uses more utilities.

Timmering said, "Everything is adding up. Directly based on our volume here at this restaurant, it would probably add almost 100 dollars a month to our bill."

Resident David Farley said, "It's high enough to me, they are. Lower income people, it's going to hurt them more."

Natasha Collins, an LG&E Spokeswoman said, "We acknowledge that any adjustment to base rates is going to impact the bottom line for our customers. We do our best to provide high quality service while also keeping costs down."

Infrastructure improvements are the main reason for the rate proposal. LG&E says even with an increase, its prices are below the national average.

Collins said, "Things that were efforts to reduce our emissions and help to meet more stringent environmental mandates."

Timmering said, "We've got to have our electricity and gas and got to pay for it, but another 100 bucks just adds to the piles of the other increasing costs."

After LG and E files it rate request on November 26th, the Kentucky Public Service Commission will decide within 30 days whether the filing is complete. Then, public hearings will be set.

If approved, the rates will take effect in July 2015. 

The last LG&E rate increase went into effect in January of 2013:

Collins says LG&E originally requested an increase of $62.1 million in revenues for its electric business and an increase of $17.2 million in revenues for its natural gas business.

She says ultimately, the KPSC approved a settlement in that rate proceeding. Base electric rates increased by $33.7 million dollars and base natural gas rates increased by $15 million.

Copyright 2014 WDRB News. All rights reserved.