East Kentucky electric rates change, resident costs may drop

IndustriesAssociated Press

A Kentucky Power Co. rate increase coupled with a surcharge elimination may leave Eastern Kentucky residents with some extra cash in the coming months.

The state Public Service Commission approved a 4 percent rate increase Thursday while considering the power company's cutback on programs that encourage less energy use, according to news outlets.

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The Commission says those programs will eliminate an almost $11 average surcharge on monthly bills and replace it with an almost $1.50 credit, dropping the average monthly bill by 4 percent. The Commission also eliminated a separate rate for public schools, as it found the rate was not justified by the schools' usage and risks the schools being subsidized by other customers.

Kentucky Power originally requested a revenue increase from base rates by almost $60 million, later agreeing in a settlement to a nearly $32 million increase. But the Commission says it instead approved a little less than $13 million increase to account for a recent reduction in the corporate tax that utilities must pay.

In addition, the Commission also increased a charge by 15 cents to help pay for a program that helps low-income residents pay their electric bills.

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