The Kentucky Public Service Commission (PSC) has rescheduled a videoconference in Paducah that will allow members of the public to provide comments on a request by Big Rivers Electric Corp. to increase rates.
Public meetings scheduled for Henderson and Owensboro on Thursday, June 13, will be held as previously announced, as will a concurrent videoconference in Brandenburg.
The Paducah videoconference is being rescheduled in order to avoid a conflict with the annual meeting of Jackson Purchase Energy Corp., which is one of three distribution cooperatives that own and receive power from Big Rivers.
Jackson Purchase Energy requested the change.
The videoconference originally was scheduled to coincide with the Owensboro meeting. The scheduling of that meeting was in turn determined by the availability of commissioners and the schedule in the Big Rivers rate case.
“At the time the meetings were being planned, the PSC was unaware of the conflict with the Jackson Purchase Energy meeting,” PSC Chairman David Armstrong said. “We hope Jackson Purchase Energy members will now attend both their meeting and the PSC videoconference.”
The videoconference is now scheduled for:
Tuesday, June 18, 2013, 5:30 p.m.
Crounse Hall Room 228
West Kentucky Community & Technical College
By Venita Fritz
Tribune-Courier General Manager
The Kentucky Public Service Commission will conduct public hearings over a proposed rate hike for electric customers in western Kentucky who could see their bills increase by nearly 20 percent.
Big Rivers supplies power to Jackson Purchase Energy, which services approximately 4,800 customers in Marshall County.
The first meeting will be held at 1 p.m. Thursday in Henderson, followed by a video conference linking a public meeting in Owensboro with sites in Paducah and Brandenburg. The Paducah meeting will take place at Crounse Hall, Room 228 on the campus of West Kentucky Community and Technical College at 5:30 p.m. Thursday.
Jackson Purchase Energy spokesman Jon Mol had told the Tribune-Courier in a March interview residential customers could see their bills increase by as much as 71 cents per day.
“We have to pass the expense on to our customers. There is no extra margin in our budget to compensate for the increase,” said Mol.
Van Mol said the rate hikes, if approved, would affect all customers, including residential, commercial and industrial.
The PSC said in a statement that Big Rivers Electric Corp. is seeking to adjust rates to increase annual revenue by $74.5 million. The increase would offset the loss of its biggest customer, the Century Aluminum Co. smelter.
According to a press release issued by the Public Service Commission the current case does not take into consideration the impending loss of Big Rivers’ second largest customer, the Rio Tinto Alcan aluminum smelter in Sebree. Big Rivers has filed a second request for rate adjustment to account for the loss of this revenue.