Duke Energy Kentucky seeks approval to increase rates

Published on September 06, 2019 by Dave Kovaleski

© Shutterstock

Duke Energy Kentucky is seeking permission from the Kentucky Public Service Commission to increase its base rates by about $45.6 million – or an average of about 12.5 percent.

If approved, a residential customer who uses an average of 1,000 kilowatt-hours of electricity each month would pay about $112.08 per month, or an increase of approximately $15.62.

The new rate structure reflects Duke’s ongoing investments in the region’s electric delivery system and power generation stations. The company says these investments will enable Duke Energy Kentucky to continue to deliver reliable and efficient service to its customers.

“We’re making strategic, data-driven investments to improve reliability and protect our system against cyber and physical threats,” Amy Spiller, president of Duke Energy Ohio/Kentucky, said. “Our work is paying off for customers by reducing the frequency and length of outages and delivering more choices and control when it comes to their energy use.”

Among its investments, Duke Kentucky built a 5.5-megawatt distribution battery storage pilot project that will regulate voltage on the grid. It also established an electric vehicle charging pilot program to expand electric vehicle charging infrastructure across Northern Kentucky. Further, the company expanded LED streetlighting options to provide customers with more choices for fixtures, poles, and more.

“Our customers want us to do more when it comes to advanced energy technologies and improving their experiences with our company,” Spiller said. “We’ve responded with technologies and programs to make it easier to pay bills and help our customers and communities experience and employ the latest in energy technology advancements.”

The company also proposes to eliminate “convenience” fees when paying a monthly bill. Instead, it proposes a fee-free payment option for residential customers who wish to pay their monthly utility bills with credit cards, debit cards, or electronic checks. Currently, customers must pay a $1.50 fee at the time of transaction to use any of these payment methods.

Additionally, Duke Energy Kentucky proposes the creation of the Green Source Advantage program that would provide a way for qualifying large energy users to meet their internal sustainability goals. Through this voluntary program, customers can work with Duke Energy Kentucky to procure renewable energy resources, with the cost billed to the customer through a new tariff.

“Current and prospective commercial and industrial customers want more choices when it comes to renewables,” Spiller said. “The Green Source Advantage program can provide flexible options for companies to meet their sustainability goals on their own terms.”

Duke Energy Kentucky provides electric service to about 142,900 customers in Boone, Campbell, Grant, Kenton and Pendleton counties in Kentucky.