Duke Energy proposing 15.7% rate increase in NKY

BOONE CO., KY (FOX19) - The Kentucky Public Service Commission held a public meeting Thursday night to provide information on an increase to electric rates proposed by Duke Energy.

The meeting was held at 5:30 p.m. in the Boone County High School's auditorium.

The utility company, which serves 140,000 customers in Boone, Campbell, Kenton, Gallatin, Grant and Pendleton counties, is seeking to increase its annual base revenue by approximately $48.6 million, or about 15.7 percent.

The higher base rates would increase a typical residential monthly electric bill by $15.17, or about 17.1 percent, according to Duke Kentucky estimates.

"They're already profitable to the tune of 2.17 billion dollars, why do they need to raise everyone's rates," Clayton Campbell asked.

Duke Kentucky said the reasons for the increase include an inadequate rate of return on investment, recovery of costs related to the acquisition of the entirety of the East Bend power plant near Rabbit Hash in Boone County, recovery of storm restoration costs from Hurricane Ike in 2008, and costs related to the deployment of an advanced metering system.

"We're optimistic that certainly they'll see that there's a need for the expenses that we've invested," Sally Thelen with Duke Energy said.

The last electric rate increase took for Duke Kentucky happened in January 2007.

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