Rates for some Duke Energy customers could rise by 17.4 percent

Rates for some Duke Energy customers could rise by 17.4 percent
Updated: Sep. 1, 2017 at 3:50 PM EDT
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(Source: WXIX)
(Source: WXIX)

CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - Duke Energy Kentucky is eyeing a base rate increase.

The company says it would like to improve reliability, install smart meters, and invest in new solar facilities.

The request was filed with the Kentucky Public Service Commission. It would increase revenues by about $49 million.

If approved, electric rates would increase about 17.4 percent for residential customers beginning April 1, 2018.

The charge for a typical residential customer who uses 1,000 kilowatt-hours (kWh) of electricity monthly would increase from $88.60 to $103.77 (an increase of $15.17).?

Commercial and industrial customers will see an average increase of around 13.7 percent (actual impacts vary by customer size and rate group).

In a news release concerning the potential increase, the company listed the following as "key" investments:

  • Improving the customer experience
  • The installation of advanced metering technology (smart meters) to enable more bill-lowering tools, access to more information about energy use, and the ability to receive usage alerts, outage notifications and customized billing options once fully implemented.

The company says an investment of $14.8 million in three solar sites in Walton and Crittenden would help provide emissions-free energy to Kentucky homes and businesses.

Duke Energy also says it wants to manage coal ash responsibly, and plans to convert East Bend Station's wet ash handling system to a dry ash disposal system to comply with federal regulations. It would like to safely close its current East Bend Station coal ash basin and construction of a new on-site landfill to handle generator waste materials.

The company also hopes to replace hundreds of miles of aging overhead and underground power lines.

The company says this would be the first increase in 11 years for its 140,000 electric customers in the commonwealth. Duke Energy Kentucky currently serves electric customers across Boone, Kenton, Campbell, Pendleton, Grant and Gallatin counties.

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