A publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Michael J. Schmitt: PSC Chairman explains process for consideration of rate increase requests

Many Kentuckians may be unaware of the role of the Public Service Commission (PSC) in their daily lives Paraphrasing our mission statement, the PSC fosters the safe, reliable service of utilities to customers at a price that is both reasonable and also allows for the financial stability of the regulated utilities.This includes rates and service for a myriad of utilities, including electricity, natural...

KY PSC decision reduces total burden on Kentucky Power Co. residential ratepayers through 2018

The Kentucky Public Service Commission (PSC) has trimmed by about four-fifths of a base rate increase sought by Kentucky Power Co., and has substantially scaled back the company’s demand-side management (DSM) programs and the customer surcharges that pay for those programs. The net effect of the two orders issued Thursday will be that residential customers using the same amount of electricity will...

PSC fines Jackson Purchase Energy $20,000 in January 2017 lineman electrocution fatality

The Kentucky Public Service Commission (PSC) has fined Jackson Purchase Energy Corp. for safety violations that contributed to the January 2017 fatal electrocution of an employee of the electric distribution cooperative. In an order issued today, the PSC said it found eight separate safety violations and assessed the maximum penalty of $2,500 for each one. Jackson Purchase was ordered to pay the $20,000...

PSC orders for-profit utilities to track federal tax savings in effort to pass savings on to consumers

The Kentucky Public Service Commission (PSC) has ordered for-profit utilities to track their savings under lower corporate tax rates that took effect yesterday, paving the way for those savings to be passed on to customers in the form of lower electric, gas or water rates. In two orders issued Dec. 27 the PSC noted that investor-owned utilities recover their federal tax expenses from ratepayers. Under...

Public Service Commission moves to end duplicative reporting requirements for Kentucky water utilities

Acting to end a duplicative reporting requirement, the Kentucky Public Service Commission (PSC) is telling water utilities they are no longer required to send copies of “boil water” advisories to the PSC. The PSC instead will be informed of boil water advisories via a daily report that it receives from the Kentucky Division of Water (DOW), which has primary responsibility for enforcing drinking...

PSC reduces Farmers Rural Electric Cooperative rate hike request; monthly bills to increase slightly

The Kentucky Public Service Commission (PSC) granted Farmers Rural Electric Cooperative Corp. a revenue increase that is somewhat smaller than the amount requested by the electric distribution cooperative. With the rate increase granted by the PSC, a typical Farmers residential customer will see their average monthly electric bill rise by about $4.49 (4.2 percent), from $106.46 to $110.95. That includes...

State Public Service Commission delays revamping of state low-income phone subsidy

The Kentucky Public Service Commission (PSC) has put on hold a decision changing the state’s subsidy program for low-income telephone customers in order to assess the impact of a law enacted after the decision was issued In an order issued late last week, the PSC rejected a number of arguments against the decision, finding persuasive only the calls to review its March 10 decision in light of a telephone...

EKPC becomes second community solar project approved by PSC — first was KU-LG&E

The Kentucky Public Service Commission (PSC) has allowed East Kentucky Power Cooperative, Inc. (EKPC) to offer its customers the opportunity to use solar power without putting solar panels on their roofs. In an order issued Tuesday, the PSC approved an EKPC proposal that will allow customers to purchase licenses for – in effect, to lease – one or more of the 32,300 panels in a large-scale solar...

PSC public meeting for Columbia Gas rate case in Lexington set for Wednesday

The Kentucky Public Service Commission (PSC) will hold a public meeting Wednesday in Lexington to receive public comments on a rate increase requested by Columbia Gas of Kentucky. An information session on the PSC ratemaking process and the Columbia Gas application will begin at 5:30 p.m. EDT. It will last an hour and will include a presentation by PSC staff and a question-and-answer period focusing...

Understanding water: We take safe drinking water for granted, but most of the rest of world doesn’t have it

By Judy Clabes KyForward editor First of three parts We step up to the sink, turn on the faucet and expect water to come out. We take for granted that it will be clean and safe to drink. We expect, as an inalienable right, what most people around the world cannot imagine. So, here we are, knowing that water is essential to everything in life – and finding the devil in the details. Here are some...

PSC declines KU/LG&E expansion of landfills, Sterling Ventures’ request to fill underground mine

The Kentucky Public Service Commission (PSC) has affirmed its earlier approval of combustion waste landfills at power plants operated by the state’s two largest electric utilities, despite sharp increases in the cost of the facilities. But the PSC, in an order issued Tuesday, declined requests by Kentucky Utilities Co. (KU) and Louisville Gas & Electric Co. (LG&E) to extend that approval...

Tom FitzGerald: SB 88 is a bad deal for those who depend on reliable basic phone service

Today, all customers of the three telephone utilities who have “elected” to deregulate all telecommunications services other than basic local exchange phone service, (AT&T, Windstream, and Cincinnati Bell) have a right to stand-alone basic phone service, the reliability and repair of which is overseen by the Public Service Commission (PSC). If Senate Bill 88 becomes law, no new customer would...