Friday, January 30, 2015
Davis Motor Sales banner ad
Posted on 2/2/14

PSC KYFRANKFORT, Ky. (12/12/13) - The Kentucky Public Service Commission (PSC) has rescheduled sessions at which members of the public will be able to provide comments on a request by Big Rivers Electric Corp. to increase rates.

A public meeting will be held on the evening of Monday, Dec. 16, in Henderson. A public comment session on Jan. 8, 2014, in Frankfort will be linked through video conference to sites in Owensboro, Paducah and Brandenburg.

The meeting and videoconference take the place of sessions originally scheduled for Dec. 10 that were postponed due to inclement weather.

The meeting in Henderson will begin with a presentation by PSC staff on the regulatory processes governing the case and an overview of the Big Rivers proposal. It will be followed by a public comment session with the members of the PSC.

The public comments will be recorded and will be available for viewing on the PSC website, psc.ky.gov.

The video conference in January will occur in conjunction with the evidentiary hearing in the case and will offer participants the opportunity to address the commission directly.

“We are sorry that we were unable to hold these public comment sessions as originally scheduled,” PSC Chairman David Armstrong said. “However, the PSC is committed to offering ratepayers an opportunity to learn about the PSC’s ratemaking process and to make their views known to the commission.”

The Dec. 16 meeting in Henderson will be held in the Stagg Meeting Room of the Henderson Fine Arts Center on the campus of Henderson Community College, 2660 South Green Street. The public information session will begin at 5 p.m. CST, with public comments beginning no later than 6 p.m. CST.

For those unable to attend the meeting, a narrated slide presentation will be available on the PSC’s YouTube channel, www.youtube.com/kypsc , on Dec. 18.

The video conference public comment sessions on Jan. 8, 2014, will be held at 9 a.m. CST in Paducah and Owensboro and at 10 a.m. EST in Brandenburg. Locations will be announced at a later date.

Because Big Rivers provides power to an area extending from Meade County near Louisville to Ballard County on the Mississippi River, conducting simultaneous meetings by video conference is an efficient way to reach the entire service territory, Armstrong said.

Big Rivers supplies power to the retail customers of Jackson Purchase Energy Corp., Kenergy Corp., and Meade County Rural Electric Cooperative Corp., and is owned by the three distribution cooperatives. Together, the three cooperatives serve about 112,000 customers in 26 counties in western Kentucky. The customers include about 20 large industrial facilities.

Big Rivers is seeking approval to adjust rates early next year in order to increase annual revenue by $70.4 million. That amount is to partially offset the loss of about $175 million in annual revenue that will occur when the Century Aluminum Co. smelter in Sebree ceases to be a customer at the end of January. The Sebree smelter accounts for about half of Big Rivers’ power sales and total revenue.

The $70.4 million is needed for Big Rivers to maintain financial stability and meet its debt obligations, the utility says. Big Rivers says it intends to offset the remaining revenue loss by idling electric power generating facilities and taking other steps to adjust for the loss of the Sebree smelter as a customer.

In its application, Big Rivers estimates that the rate changes will increase typical monthly residential bills by about $25 or $30 per month, or about 21.5 percent. The amount of increase will vary with electric consumption and with which of Big Rivers’ three distribution cooperatives serves the customer. Large industrial customers would see rates go up about 25 percent, the utility says.

However, Big Rivers is proposing to defer the impact of the rate increases by drawing on reserve funds established several years ago to offset rising rates. The utility estimates that the funds would postpone the rate increase for large industrial customers until July 2014 and for residential and small commercial customers until April 2015.

The current case follows a similar proceeding that stemmed from the departure of what was formerly Big Rivers’ largest customer, the Century Aluminum smelter in Hawesville. The Hawesville smelter ceased to be a Big Rivers customer in August and began purchasing power at market-based rates under contract terms approved by the PSC.

An order approving a rate adjustment that accounted for the loss of the revenue from the Hawesville smelter was issued by the PSC Oct. 29. The PSC has granted rehearing on one issue in that proceeding.

Big Rivers and Kenergy have filed with the PSC a contract that sets out the terms under which Century’s Sebree smelter would purchase market-based power rather than from the utility. That contract requires review and approval by the PSC in a separate proceeding before it can take effect. It is being considered concurrently with the rate case.

The Big Rivers application, the proposed Sebree smelter contract and related documents are available on the PSC website. The rate case number is 2013-00199. The smelter contract case is 2013-00413.

In addition to the public meetings, the PSC will conduct a formal evidentiary hearing in the case beginning at 10 a.m. EST Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2014. The hearing, which is scheduled to last three days, will be held at the PSC offices at 211 Sower Blvd. in Frankfort. It will be open to the public and may be viewed live on the PSC website.

The hearing on the proposed contract for the Sebree smelter will be held Monday, Jan. 6, 2014.

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, KY 40602, faxed to 502-564-9625, e-mailed from the PSC website or submitted in person at the public meetings or at the PSC offices.

The PSC is an independent agency attached for administrative purposes to the Energy and Environment Cabinet. It regulates more than 1,500 gas, water, sewer, electric and telecommunication utilities operating in Kentucky and has approximately 90 employees.

SurfKY News
Information provided by Public Service Commission

© 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 by using one of the social media links below.

2/6/2014 - posted
3/13 - 16
2/6/2014 - posted
3/13 - 16

Most Read This Week

January 28, 2015 16643

UPDATED: Several Involved in Two-Vehicle Accident

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Doreen Dennis, SurfKY News
January 23, 2015 9994

Local Church's Faith Restored; 71 Souls Saved…

in Video by Gary Gates, SurfKY News
January 26, 2015 6960

KSP Arrests Two on Child Porn Charges; MPD…

in Top News For All Sites Touching Hopkins by Trooper Stu Recke
January 25, 2015 6829

Dean’s List Announced

in Top News For All Sites Touching Hopkins by Joyce Riggs
January 28, 2015 6155

Nortonville Man Accused of Meth Possession,…

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Madisonville Police Department/Hopkins County Detention Center
January 23, 2015 6115

Parents Face Charges after Marijuana Joint Falls…

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Madisonville Police Department/Hopkins County Jail
January 23, 2015 4896

Nortonville Woman Charged for Meth Possession

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Hopkins County Sheriff's Office/Hopkins County Detention Center
January 26, 2015 4671

School Board Votes 3-2 for Utility Tax

in Local (Muhlenberg) Top News by Charles W. Riley II, SurfKY News

Most Read This Month

January 08, 2015 21846

Woman Claiming to be 'Lady Gaga' Tours Town in…

in Top News For All Sites by Madisonville Police Department
January 15, 2015 21575

UPDATE: Fatality Victim's Name Officially Released

in Top News For All Sites by Doreen Dennis, SurfKY News

Stories Trending Today

January 28, 2015 16643

UPDATED: Several Involved in Two-Vehicle Accident

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Doreen Dennis, SurfKY News
January 28, 2015 6155

Nortonville Man Accused of Meth Possession,…

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Madisonville Police Department/Hopkins County Detention Center
January 29, 2015 4102

Man Charged with Sexual Abuse of Child

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Doreen Dennis, SurfKY News
January 28, 2015 4029

Tax Recall Committee Formed Day After School…

in Local (Muhlenberg) Top News by Charles W. Riley II, SurfKY News
January 28, 2015 2725

Madisonville Police Arrest Reports - Jan. 28, 2015

in Hopkins News by Madisonville Police Department
January 27, 2015 2509

Whitfield Works to Combat Prescription Drug Abuse

in General News For All Sites by Marty Irby
January 29, 2015 2508

UPDATE - Students Have until Jan. 31 to Enter…

in General News For All Sites by James R. Comer
January 28, 2015 2307

Muhlenberg District Court Fines Handed Down

in Local (Muhlenberg) Top News by Charles W. Riley II, SurfKY News
January 28, 2015 2025

Hopkins County Sheriff's Reports Released

in Hopkins News by Hopkins County Sheriff's Office
January 28, 2015 1514

Letter to the Editor - Month of Mentors

in Hopkins News by Mallory D. Johnson
January 28, 2015 1486

Kentucky Lottery Results for Tuesday Jan. 27, 2015

in General News For All Sites by Kentucky Lottery
January 28, 2015 1458

Old City Hall Space to be 'First United Bank…

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Doreen Dennis, SurfKY News