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.

Most Read This Week

October 06, 2015 4838

County Passes Occupational Tax Ordinance

by Doreen Dennis, SurfKY News
October 07, 2015 4710

Alleged Attempt to Hide Meth in Doughnuts Results…

by SurfKY News
October 05, 2015 4074

Four Charged with Drug Offenses after Motel…

by SurfKY News
October 06, 2015 3768

Dawson Man Charged with Cultivating Marijuana,…

by SurfKY News
October 07, 2015 3212

Vehicle Overturns during Two-Car Collision

by Rita Dukes Smith, SurfKY News Director

Most Read This Month

September 16, 2015 13364

Mining Accident Fatality - Update

by Doreen Dennis, SurfKY News
September 30, 2015 11430

Dawson Woman Dead After Princeton Factory…

by SurfKY News

Stories Trending Now

October 08, 2015 1339

Madisonville Police Department Reports Released -…

by SurfKY News
October 08, 2015 1191

Hopkins County Health Department Food Scores Thru…

by SurfKY News
October 08, 2015 1136

Local Pastor's Son Filming Documentary about…

by Doreen Dennis, SurfKY News
October 08, 2015 871

Work Zone Lane Restriction on Pennyrile Pkwy Set…

by SurfKY News
October 08, 2015 770

Democratic Candidate for Governor Jack Conway…

by SurfKY News
October 08, 2015 752

Registration for Free 'Project Hire Kentucky'…

by SurfKY News
October 09, 2015 685

Travis Ipox Appointed as New Agency Manager of…

by SurfKY News
October 09, 2015 624

Hopkins District Court Fines Handed Down

by SurfKY News
October 08, 2015 610

UPDATE: Mortons Gap Boil Water Advisory Lifted

by SurfKY News
October 08, 2015 593

Guns - Stopping That One Person

by SurfKY News