Kentucky utilities to propose Green Energy tariff to drive renewable energy growth

Published on September 20, 2018 by Kevin Randolph

© Shutterstock

Louisville Gas and Electric Company (LG&E) and Kentucky Utilities Company (KU) said recently that they will propose a Green Tariff to promote renewable energy growth and economic development in a rate review filing on Sept. 28.

LG&E and KU currently have solar offerings for commercial and industrial customers, a subscription-based community solar program called Solar Share and a Green Energy program that allows the utilities to purchase regional renewable energy credits on a customer’s behalf.

The tariff, the utilities said, would combine the business solar options and Green Energy program into one tariff and add a third option for purchasing renewable power.

“Green tariffs are used to attract new businesses and jobs,” Paul W. Thompson, chairman, CEO and president of LG&E and KU, said. “Companies such as Apple, Google, Amazon Web Services, Walmart and Target are all examples of companies that have taken advantage of green tariffs. We are fortunate in Kentucky to have some of the lowest energy rates in the country, but we still need more options and a Green Tariff to attract companies interested in a greener environment.”

The utilities also plan to request enhancements to Solar Share, including the ability to transfer ownership of their shares. Currently, LG&E and KU own and operate Kentucky’s largest universal solar array, producing 10 megawatts of solar-generated energy at E.W. Brown.

According to a statement from PPL Corp., the parent company of LG&E and KU, in order to continue investments in safe and reliable services for customers, LG&E will request a cost-based rate increase of 14 cents per day for residential electric customers and 16 cents per day for its residential natural gas customers. KU will request an increase of 32 cents per day for its residential customers. When new rates go into effect, all benefits associated with the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act will be reflected in the companies’ base rates, rather than as a line item on customer bills.

KU’s current average electric residential rate is approximately 23 percent lower than other similar U.S. utilities, and LG&E’s current average electric residential rate is approximately 18 percent lower.