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Public Meeting Planned on Proposed Duke Energy Rate Increase of 16%

The Kentucky Public Service Commission will conduct a meeting in Edgewood to provide information on and receive public comments regarding the electric rate increase requested by Duke Energy Kentucky.

“This meeting will allow the public to learn about the PSC’s ratemaking process and Duke Kentucky’s application and to present their views directly to members of the Commission as we prepare to consider whether the proposed rates are fair, just and reasonable,” PSC Chairman Michael Schmitt said.

The meeting will begin with an information session during which PSC staff will explain how rates are set and the PSC’s review process. The presentation will include an overview of the utility’s application. Public comments will follow the information session. 

The meeting is scheduled for Thursday, Feb. 13, at 5:30 p.m. at the Edgewood campus of Gateway Technical & Community College (790 Thomas More Parkway).

The presentation by PSC staff and a question-and-answer period will last an hour. Public comments will follow at about 6:30 p.m.

Duke Kentucky is seeking to increase its annual base revenue by approximately $45.6 million, or about 14.7 percent. The higher base rates would, according to Duke Kentucky estimates, increase a typical residential monthly electric bill by $15.62, or about 16.2 percent.

According to Duke Kentucky, reasons for the increase include an inadequate rate of return on investment, which the company says compromises its ability to invest in infrastructure to provide safe and reliable service. Duke Kentucky also is seeking to recover restoration costs incurred following a November 2018 ice storm.

Duke Kentucky’s last electric rate increase took effect in April 2018, with the previous increase in January 2007.

Duke Kentucky is not proposing to adjust its rates for natural gas service.

Duke Kentucky has about 142,500 electric customers in Boone, Campbell, Grant, Kenton, and Pendleton counties.

In addition to the public meeting, the PSC will conduct a formal evidentiary hearing in the case, beginning at 8:30 a.m. on Wednesday, February 19. The hearing, which is expected to last several days, will be held at the PSC offices at 211 Sower Boulevard in Frankfort. It will be open to the public and may be viewed live on the PSC website, psc.ky.gov.

Written comments will be accepted through the conclusion of the evidentiary hearing. They may be mailed to the PSC at P.O. Box 615, Frankfort, KY 40602, faxed to 502-564-3460, e-mailed from the PSC website or submitted in person at the public meeting or at the PSC offices.

Duke Kentucky’s application and other records in the case are available on the PSC website, psc.ky.gov. The case number is 2019-00271.

The PSC is an independent agency attached for administrative purposes to the Energy and Environment Cabinet. It regulates more than 1,100 gas, water, sewer, electric and telecommunication utilities operating in Kentucky.

-Staff report