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Public Invited to Comment On Proposed LG&E Rate Increase

The Public Service Commission will hold a hearing tomorrow eveningto let the public weigh in on a proposed utility rate increase.The rate hike currently under consideration is only one of three measures that could affect your utility bills in the coming year. There’s the plan to retire the Cane Run power plant and replace it with natural gas—which is expected to affect Kentucky Utilities customers but not LG&E ratepayers. There’s the already-approved measure to raise rates by about 13 percent by 2016to pay for environmental upgrades. And then there’s this other rate increase.LG&E spokesman Brian Phillips says this proposal would raise rates about 8.6 percent to recoup costs the company incurred improving service and reliability.“Over the last 29 months, LG&E and KU have invested more than $1 billion in more than 4,000 projects related to generation, transmission and electric and gas distribution,” he said.Projects like the plant in Trimble County, replacing natural gas pipelines to supply the city and improving technology at the company’s two hydroelectric stations.“Essentially just as a vehicle needs regular maintenance, so does our electric and gas system, and we have to continue to invest in it in order to make sure it’s reliable and that it’s safe for our customers,” Phillips said.If the PSC approves the rate increase, it will go into effect in January.The public hearing is tomorrow at 5:30 at Male High School.