fair rates 300OWENSBORO, Ky. (5/16/13) – A new coalition launched today to speak out in favor of fair and reasonable utility rates for western Kentucky electricity consumers. Fair Rates Kentucky mobilized after Big Rivers Electric Corp, which sells power to various co-operatives including Kenergy Corp, Jackson Purchase Energy Corporation and Meade County Rural Electric Co-Op., announced plans for a series of rate increases that could dramatically increase utility costs for residential customers, businesses, schools, hospitals and churches.

According to coalition organizers, Big Rivers proposed the massive rate increases after recently losing 70 percent of their consumer base per an agreement reached with local aluminum smelters. Instead of adequately adjusting their business model to meet the new demand, they have requested a $74.5 million base rate increase from the Kentucky Public Service Commission (PSC). This increase would be paid for by their rural western Kentucky customers.

Fair Rates Kentucky, jointly founded by Aleris, Domtar and Kimberly-Clark, all of whom have large investment and employee bases in the impacted area, is mounting a grassroots campaign to call attention to the proposed rate increases and make sure that the voices of western Kentucky utility consumers are heard.

“Big Rivers wants to keep operating most of the same power generation capacity and power plants whether there is demand or not,” Kelly Thomas, senior vice president and general manager of Aleris Rolled Products North America. “This just simply isn’t a viable option for Kentucky families and businesses already struggling in tough economic times.”

According to Big Rivers, the first of several rate increases will be implemented as early as August 20, and will cost the average residential consumer nearly $300 more per year—a 23 percent rate increase for most of their customers. The next and potentially even larger increase is scheduled for early next year.

“If Big Rivers is allowed to pass along these planned rate increases this summer and early next year, then Kimberly-Clark’s local power cost to operate our plant could nearly double,” said Dan Lachmann, Mill Manager for Kimberly-Clark’s Owensboro Mill. “Manufacturing is as competitive a business right now as it has ever been and this is not a realistic or sustainable approach to solving the underlying problems at Big Rivers.”

The new coalition is asking those who oppose these rate increases to take action by signing a petition at www.FairRatesKY.com and by contacting Governor Steve Beshear and the Public Service Commission.

“We are simply asking Big Rivers to do what any other business would do when they are faced with market challenges—adapt without forcing their customers to pick up the tab,” said Steve Henry, General Manager with Domtar’s Hawesville facility. “You wouldn't pay for gas that isn't in your car’s tank, nor would you pay for food you aren't going to eat, so why should schools, hospitals, churches, businesses, and residents pay for power plants we aren’t going to use?”

Fair Rates Kentucky is a coalition of western Kentucky residential and business utility consumers who want to pay fair and reasonable rates for electricity. More information is available at www.FairRatesKY.com.

SurfKY News
Information provided by Rachel Bledsoe

e-max.it: your social media marketing partner

LIKE SurfKY on Facebook - Click here to LIKE us now.

© Copyright 2015 SurfKY News Group, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, or rewritten without permission. SurfKY News encourages you to share this story on social media.

In Other News...

Col. Stephen Trigg Chapter SAR Wins National Acclaim

CADIZ, Ky. (7/6/15) — The Col. Stephen Trigg Chapter received nationwide recognition last week at the 125th annual… Read More

MCHS Qualifies for Three National TEAMS Competition

MARSHALL COUNTY, Ky. (7/6/15) — Our Marshall County High School team was among those that qualified for all three… Read More

Most Read This Week

July 02, 2015 15374

Emergency Response Team on Scene of Standoff on…

by Doreen Dennis, SurfKY News
July 02, 2015 7948

Police: Stand Off Suspect in Critical Condition

by Doreen Dennis, SurfKY News
July 03, 2015 3952

KMA Reminds Motorists of New Kentucky Red Light…

by David Holt
July 01, 2015 3482

Police Seeking Public Help in Locating Subject…

by SurfKY News
July 01, 2015 3326

Crime Stoppers Top Most Wanted - July 2, 2015

by Crime Stoppers

Most Read This Month

June 24, 2015 45835

Western Kentucky, Southern Indiana's Largest…

by Doreen Dennis, SurfKY News
July 02, 2015 15374

Emergency Response Team on Scene of Standoff on…

by Doreen Dennis, SurfKY News

Stories Trending Now

July 06, 2015 2154

Man Accused of Choking Girlfriend, Threatening to…

by SurfKY News
July 05, 2015 1701

Hopkins County Traffic Advisory

by Keith Todd
July 06, 2015 972

Madisonville Police Arrest Reports Released -…

by SurfKY News
July 06, 2015 937

Driving on Suspended License, Alleged Fleeing…

by SurfKY News
July 06, 2015 617

KLC to Hold Free OSHA Training for West Kentucky

by Daniel Lowry
July 06, 2015 527

Two Vehicle Head on Collision Sends Two to Local…

by SurfKY News
July 06, 2015 462

City Launches New Website, Online Payment System

by Leslie Curneal
July 06, 2015 433

Kentuckians Touched by Organ Donation Featured on…

by Karen McKnight
July 06, 2015 429

Swingin' for Sadie Scholarship Recipients

by Karen Robinson
July 06, 2015 379

Pet of the Day

by Natalie Ostrander