Beshear: Our Fight against Utility Hikes Results in $1.2 Billion Savings

Andy Beshear

Over the last three years, my office has protected Kentucky families by opposing dozens of utility bill hikes, and we have helped save Kentucky businesses and families nearly $1.2 billion.

Whether it is fighting against unreasonable profits or opposing unnecessary projects, I know your bills seem to grow every month. I have made it my mission to reduce the growing monthly burden on Kentuckians.

As attorney general, I represent Kentucky families in electricity, water, sewer and natural gas cases before the state agency that regulates utilities, while fighting to support vital programs that assist low-income families.

My office works with several partners and nonprofits to provide alternative rate designs to help assure the elderly and low-income families are protected from unduly harmful rate designs. One example is an agreement by utilities to provide shareholder contributions totaling nearly $1.5 million a year to help low-income residential customers defer utility costs.

We have worked especially hard the last three years because families are already struggling to pay their bills, and Kentucky has twice the amount of workers making minimum wage and the third slowest wage growth in the country.

We understand that our fight to stop a utility rate increase may make the difference for families in choosing between basic needs like food and medicine over energy costs.

Our recent victory against an unnecessary proposal to replace thousands of functional meters propelled savings for Kentuckians over the one-billion-dollar mark.

We also took on a water company and were able to cut a rate hike in half.

In two recent rate cases against a natural-gas-only distributor, my office saved Kentuckians millions of dollars. In the first case, we fought off a $3.3 million annual increase, and kept the average monthly residential impact to a nickel. In our most recent case, which started as a $10.4 million increase, we were able to secure an overall reduction for families of nearly $1.4 million.

And in a case against an eastern Kentucky electric power company, we fought against a 16-percent increase, and customers ended up with a 4-percent decrease.

It’s your voice and our fight before the state agency that regulates utility companies – the Kentucky Public Service Commission – that makes a difference. Your involvement at public comment meetings and your letters and phone calls to the Public Service Commission do make a difference.

Currently, my office is fighting against an unprecedented number of investor-owned utility rate cases before the Public Service Commission. The proposed total impact of these cases would mean a nearly $200 million annual rate increase for our families.

We cannot allow one utility, much less four or five, to unnecessarily raise rates that would harm Kentuckians in ways we have never seen before. To have your voice heard, you can contact the Public Service Commission at 502-564-3940.

When a utility proposal is harmful to Kentuckians, our position will never waiver, and as with every mission of ours, we will continue to fight for the people of Kentucky against those who try to put profits over what’s best for our people.

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