Public Service Commission

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Kentucky Utilities plans to ask the Public Service Commission to raise its base rate for electricity to cover the construction of a natural gas unit.

The utility’s Director of Media Relations Natasha Collins says they have filed a notice with the PSC to raise rates from nearly nine cents per kilowatt hour to 10.5 cents. The recent increase in Paducah Power System’s base rate is set at more than 11 cents and rises to nearly 13 and a half cents with Power Cost Adjustment according to its website.

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The Public Service Commission has given permission to a small Ballard County water company to cease and abandon its operations.

PSC Spokesman Andrew Melnykovych says Lovelaceville Water Company will stop its service in February 2015. The remaining 42 Lovelaceville customers will have until then to build their own well or cistern for water.

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As the days begin to get colder, Kentucky will see higher natural gas prices.  On average, customers who use about ten thousand cubic feet of natural gas, can expect to pay about 19 percent more than last November.  Still, State Public Service Commission Spokesman Andrew Melnykovych says it’s far less than a few years ago.

“Natural gas prices are gonna continue to go up and down from year to year, but it’s going to be, at least for the foreseeable future within a fairly narrow range, you know, dollar or two whereas in the past we’ve had these massive spikes where it’s gone up a hundred percent or more in some instances in a very short period of time and crashed back down only to rise again,” said Melnykovych.

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The Kentucky Public Service Commission will conduct public hearings in Paducah, Henderson and Owensboro over a proposed rate hike for electric customers who could see their bills increase by nearly 20 percent.

The proposed hike comes as Big Rivers Electric attempts to raise a $74.5 million to fill a budget hole left by its biggest customer, Century Aluminum and pay debt obligations.

The possible 20 percent increase would account for an extra $24 per month for the average customer. Industrial customers would see nearly 17 percent rate increases.