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.

Posted on 2/2/14
3/13 - 16
3/13 - 16

Most Read This Week

August 24, 2015 11475

Teen Reports Slasher Attempted to Attack Him on…

by Doreen Dennis, SurfKY News
August 27, 2015 4759

All is Well after MNHHS Lockdown

by Doreen Dennis, SurfKY News
August 30, 2015 3525

UPDATED: 'He Fought the Law ... but, the Law Won'

by Doreen Dennis, SurfKY News
August 26, 2015 2730

Man Charged with Theft, Meth, Marijuana Growing

by SurfKY News
August 27, 2015 2378

Kentucky Career Center Blood Drive Aug. 31

by SurfKY News

Most Read This Month

August 06, 2015 17189

Muhlenberg Woman Reportedly Suffers Violent…

by SurfKY News
August 24, 2015 11475

Teen Reports Slasher Attempted to Attack Him on…

by Doreen Dennis, SurfKY News

Stories Trending Now

August 30, 2015 3525

UPDATED: 'He Fought the Law ... but, the Law Won'

by Doreen Dennis, SurfKY News
August 30, 2015 1925

Happenings, Meetings Listed for Following Week

by Tammy Holloway, SurfKY News
August 30, 2015 1336

Smoke Fills Business, Upstairs Apartment on Center

by Doreen Dennis, SurfKY News
August 30, 2015 1302

Commission Recommends Zoning Changes at Mahr…

by Tammy Holloway, SurfKY News
August 30, 2015 1018

Fire at Gas Pump Prompts Firefighters Swift Action

by Doreen Dennis, SurfKY News
August 30, 2015 955

UofL Electrical Blast Treatment to Increase…

by SurfKY News
August 30, 2015 704

Dave Says - Aug. 30, 2015

by SurfKY News
August 30, 2015 674

Education Chief Reflects on Service

by KET
August 30, 2015 573

Legislator's Log - Week of Aug. 30, 2015

by SurfKY News
August 30, 2015 529

Mustangs blank Logan County, 39-0

by Steve LeMaster