Fight back against Kentucky Power's attempt to raise rates and sabotage clean energy – during a pandemic | Kentuckians For The Commonwealth

Fight back against Kentucky Power's attempt to raise rates and sabotage clean energy – during a pandemic

 

 

Kentuckians know we deserve clean, affordable energy that works for all of us. We need electricity rates and programs that help us thrive – not hold us back or make it harder to get by. But despite the economic crisis we’re in, a monopoly utility serving large sections of eastern Kentucky – Kentucky Power – is trying once again to raise our rates and make it harder for us to benefit from energy efficiency and rooftop solar.

Right now, it’s more important than ever to keep showing up for our families and our neighbors. If you get your energy from Kentucky Power–or if you don't but still feel a stake in this case–please take a few minutes to send a public comment to the Kentucky Public Service Commission, which has the power to allow or deny Kentucky Power’s attempted rate increase.

Here are just a few ways Kentucky Power's proposal puts profit over the wellbeing of our families and communities. To get more detail on each of these points, click here.

  • Kentucky Power’s proposal punishes prospective rooftop solar customers by devaluing solar energy in a way that would put rooftop solar out of reach for most households. How the PSC decides on this question of solar net metering rates will also set an important precedent for the rest of the state.
  • Kentucky Power’s proposal increases the average monthly bill by $23.16, or 16%, making it harder for eastern Kentuckians to make end’s meet. However, Kentucky Power’s offer of bill forgiveness on accounts that were more than 30 days late on May 28th is a welcome step!
  • Kentucky Power claims to be helping out low-income customers with a “declining block rate” during winter months. But this block rate disincentivizes energy efficiency and would make homes that use little or moderate amounts of energy will pay more. The best way to help out low-income customers would be to not increase our rates at all. 

  • Kentucky Power’s proposal requests a $36 million investment in “smart meters,”; this will allow Kentucky Power to keep raising rates in coming years in order to pay for that investment and to profit shareholders.

Comments from everyday Kentuckians like you help the Public Service Commission get the picture of why proposals like this are incredibly harmful. Public outcry has helped halt some of the worst utility rate proposals in the past. We can’t let up now.


Take Action Now

 Here are some things you can do right now, to take action:

 
  • Write a public comment before November 17, telling the PSC in your own words what these rate changes would mean for you. Email it to psc.info@ky.gov, or mail it to "Public Service Commission, 211 Sower Boulevard, Post Office Box 615, Frankfort, Kentucky, 40602-0615." Be sure to include “case number 2020-00174” at the top of the letter or in the subject of your email. If you can, please send a second copy to rateintervention@ky.gov or "Office of Rate Intervention, 700 Capitol Avenue, Suite 20 Frankfort, KY 40601."   
 
  • Deliver spoken comments at one of three virtual public hearings held by the PSC on November 13 or 16. To sign up, email psc.meeting@ky.gov, with subject line "Case 2020-00174 Agenda," and ask to be placed on the speaker list. You'll need to include your name, address, and phone number. Once the PSC confirms your place, they will send you information on how to join the hearing you’ve signed up for!
    • Nov. 13: 1 - 4 p.m. EST
    • Nov. 13: 5 - 8 p.m. EST
    • Nov. 16: 6 - 9 p.m. EST 
  • Write a letter to the editor about why what Kentucky Power is doing is wrong. Feel free to pull from our talking points, but also to reach out directly to nikita@kftc.org for help getting started! 
 

Tips on how to prepare a strong public comment

  • You don’t need to understand every aspect of the rate proposal to make an effective comment! What’s much more important is that you lead with how you would be impacted personally, or why you have a personal stake in this issue. Here are some optional prompts to help make your comments “personal”:

    • Do you or people you love ever struggle to pay your electric bill while covering other basic needs like food and medicine? What will it mean for you if Kentucky Power raises rates even higher?

    • What steps have you taken - or would you like to take - to reduce your energy bills?

    • What is the importance of rooftop solar/renewable energy, and how would Kentucky Power’s unfair rate proposal impact your (or your community’s) ability to benefit from it? (this is the most important prompt for non-Kentucky Power customers)

  • Be sure to include “now is not the time” language 

  • Include some of our other talking points if you’d like.

  • If you would like one-on-one support from a KFTC staff person to help prepare your comment, fill out this form.