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Power bills to go up for some

Residents in one area of Letcher County can expect their average monthly power bills to increase by nearly $6 a month.

The state Public Service Commission has agreed to allow the East Kentucky Power Cooperative to raise its wholesale rates to increase annual revenue by $59.5 million.

The increase will affect customers of Cumberland Valley Electric who live in the Cumberland River area of Letcher County. Cumberland Valley Electric is one of 16 member cooperatives who set up EKPC as a not-for-profit generation and transmission utility with headquarters in Winchester.

The PSC’s action came months after the agency found the cooperative in a “precarious financial condition.”

PSC spokesman Andrew Melnykovych says the rate increase will be about $5.60 a month for average residential customers served by 16 rural electric cooperatives across the state that get electricity from East Kentucky Power.

East Kentucky Power said in a statement the increase is needed to meet financial obligations and recover costs of a new $528 million generating unit in Maysville.

In an order Tuesday, the PSC held that the proposed rates “are fair, just and reasonable.” The new rates take effect today (Wednesday).

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