A western Kentucky electric utility is telling customers their rates will increase by more than 20 percent after its power supplier lost its biggest customer, an aluminum smelter.
Jackson Purchase Energy Corp. is telling rate-payers their electric bills will increase by an average of about $22 a month. The higher rates begin Tuesday. The utility's power supplier, Big Rivers Electric Corp, recently lost the Century Aluminum smelter in Hawesville as a customer. Big Rivers is requesting a $68.6 million rate increase to cover the losses.
With only two days left in this year's Kentucky General Assembly session, time is running out for supporters of legislation meant to keep two western Kentucky aluminum smelters—which employ about 3,000 people—from closing.
Nearly 700 employees at an aluminum smelter in Hawesville may lose their jobs because the power costs to operate the plant are too high. Century Aluminum Company says it gave a 12-month notice Monday to terminate its power contract with Big Rivers Electric Corp.