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Utility Rate Hearing Concludes in Frankfort

by Kentucky Public Radio's Tony McVeighWhat was expected to be a two-day rate hearing in Frankfort for Kentucky’s two largest utilities wrapped up on the first day.Louisville Gas and Electric and Kentucky Utilities originally sought a combined $252 million rate increase, but at the start of the hearing, announced they were lowering the request. The new figure is $189 million, which was acceptable to interveners in the case, like AARP.Lonnie Bellar, of the parent company E.ON, announced the agreement from the witness stand.“It’s very inclusive of all those interests," said Bellar, "but perhaps as important – or maybe even more important – it addresses many of the concerns that the companies, saw expressed by their customers, throughout the process of this case.”The attorney general’s office, which represents consumers, remains opposed to the rate increases, even at the lower level. A ruling on the rate hikes from the Public Service Commission is not expected until July or August.