Whitesburg KY

Want to object to rate increase Kentucky Power is seeking? You’ll have hit the road

If you want to publicly complain about (or support) Kentucky Power Company’s recent request for a 12.5 percent rate increase you’ll have travel to Hazard or Pikeville to do so.

Those two towns are among three locations where the Kentucky Public Service Commission will hold meetings to receive public comments on the proposed rate increase.

The meetings will be March 24 in Hazard, March 25 in Louisa and April 16 in Pikeville. The Hazard meeting will begin at 5:30 p.m. in the auditorium of Perry Central High School (305 Park Avenue). The Pikeville gathering will begin at 5 p.m. in the Pikeville High School Auditorium ( 120 Championship Drive).

All of the meetings will be preceded by a presentation by Public Service Commission staff on the regulatory processes governing the case and an overview of the Kentucky Power application.

“These meetings are an opportunity for the public to learn how the PSC evaluates rate increase applications and arrives at a decision,” PSC Chairman David Armstrong said in a news release. “The meetings also allow the PSC to hear directly from ratepayers in these matters.”

The presentation by PSC staff and a question-andanswer period will last an hour. Public comments will follow.

Kentucky Power is seeking to increase its annual revenue by about $70 million, or about 12.5 percent. The utility says the average monthly residential bill would increase by about $22.

According to Kentucky Power, $37.7 million of the annual increase is needed to pay for Kentucky Power’s acquisition of a 50 percent interest in the Mitchell power plant, which is south of Moundsville, West Virginia. The PSC approved the purchase in October 2013, saying it was the “least-cost reasonable option” for replacing generating capacity that will be lost when Big Sandy Unit No. 2, the larger of two units at the plant in Louisa, shuts down at the end of May.

Kentucky Power has about 173,000 customers in Letcher and 19 other counties in eastern Kentucky.

In addition to the public meetings, the PSC will conduct a formal evidentiary hearing in the case beginning at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, May 5. The hearing will be held at the PSC offices at 211 Sower Boulevard in Frankfort. It will be open to the public and may be viewed live on the PSC website, psc. ky.gov.

Written comments will be accepted through the conclusion of the evidentiary hearing. They may be mailed to the PSC at P.O. Box 615, Frankfort, Kentucky 40602, faxed to 502- 564-3460, e-mailed from the PSC website or submitted in person at the public meetings or at the PSC offices.

Kentucky Power’s application and other records in the case are available on the PSC website, psc.ky.gov, as are similar records in the Mitchell case. The case numbers are 2014-00396 (rate case) and 2012-00578 (Mitchell acquisition).

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