LG&E, KU settles rate cases, typical bill to decrease

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By Scotty McDaniel

The proposed rate changes that Kentucky Utilities filed last summer would've raised the average residential electricity bill by 7.3 percent.

Now it looks like customers won't have to pay quite as much.

A settlement announced Tuesday in the Louisville Gas and Electric/Kentucky Utilities Company rate cases would mean slightly higher rates for customers starting as soon as next month, but the rates would be a bit less than .

Chris Whelan, Director of Communications with E.ON, the parent company of LG&E and KU, said after some give and take on each side, fair rates have been established.

"For KU, the typical residential customer would see 60 cents less. Then for any LG&E customers, they will see a $5.10 increase in gas and a $1 decrease on electric per month," Whelan said.

The rising natural gas costs for customers would go toward the increased delivery costs.

"Settling these cases is the right decision," Vic Staffieri, Chairman, CEO and President of E.ON U.S. said in a press release. "As with any negotiation, there is give and take on both sides. In this case, while we continue to believe our original requests are reasonable, the differences between the parties were significant.

"The settlement allows for a modest reduction in residential electric customers' bills while allowing us to recover some of our costs for improvements to our natural gas system."

Settling parties include Louisville Gas and Electric Company, Kentucky Utilities Company, the Kentucky Attorney General's Office, the Kentucky Industrial Utilities Customers, Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government, The Kroger Company and the low-income advocates.

"We have asked the rates to go into effect Feb. 6, however that is all subject to the Kentucky Public Service Commission's review and approval, and they've not said when they will review the case," Whelan said.

PSC is a part of the Energy and Environment Cabinet, and it oversees more than 1,500 gas, water, sewer, electric and telecommunication utilities in Kentucky.