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Commission Holds Hearing on Proposed Rate Increases

The Kentucky Public Service Commission is set to hold a hearing Tuesday n rate hikes proposed by Louisville Gas and Electric and Kentucky Utilities.LG&E is requesting to increase electricity rates by about 12 percent and its sister company, Kentucky Utilities, has proposed raising rates by more than 13 percent. If approved, it would mean nearly $230 million in revenue for the companies. Both are owned by E.ON U.S. and are in the process of being sold to Pennsylvania Power and Light.Many ratepayers have complained and the utilities say they’re needed to pay for infrastructure improvements and damage caused by recent weather disasters.The evidence will be considered in the hearing, says Andrew Melnykovych is the commission’s spokesperson."The utilities will present their reasons for seeking a rate increase and the attorney general" Melnykovych says, "and other parties have an opportunity to cross examine the utilities witnesses and put on witnesses to support whatever positions they might take."The hearing comes after the commission held public hearings last month on the increases. Andrew Melnykovych says the hearing could last one or more days."The attorney general will be presenting witnesses and the AG’s case for what they believe the rate adjustment ought to be," he says.Last week, Attorney General Jack Conway argued the companies should not be allowed to raise rates while they are being sold.Melnykovych says the hearing will consider all classes of ratepayers, including residential and commerical."The principle is how much additional revenue should the utilities be allowed to receive from increased rates," he says, "and then how that should be allocated among various classes of rate payers."If approved, the new rates would go into effect on July 31.