Possible rate increase for KY Power customers

By: Jerrika Insco Email
By: Jerrika Insco Email

The EPA has KY Power officials searching for the least costly way to implement new environmental regulations.

The electric company's proposed plan could mean a 30 percent increase for customers in 20 counties.

Electricity is a necessity that people set aside money for in their budgets every month.

One rate increase 18 months ago left some KY Power customers struggling to make ends meet.

Another possible 30 percent increase by 2016 is more than some say they can handle.

"They could have started at five percent and eventually go up to that, but hitting us all at once at 30. It just ain't right, and I'm angry over it," said Christopher Yonts, who is a KY Power customer in Letcher County.

KY Power officials say they should not be blamed for this. They say it is due to the EPA enforcing new regulations for coal producing plants throughout the country.

A scrubbing method, which would decrease pollution and keep coal in the picture, is the least costly way according to KY Power officials, but it is still expensive.

"It isn't that we haven't spent money. It's just that the regulations keep increasing and we have to spend more, so we've been spending money since 1990," said Ranie Wohnhas, who works at KY Power in Frankfort.

Now it is up to the Public Services Commission to decide whether this "scrubbing" method is really what is best for the power customers.

"I'm very much in support of coal. I'm just opposed to KY Power companies huge profits on the backs of the people of eastern Kentucky," said Steve Litts, who is a KY Power customer in Jenkins.

A hearing April 30 could determine what happens next.

There was also a public meeting in Hazard tonight for people to voice their concerns.

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