Hike rates

Lawmakers fear sale of KY Power to Liberty Utilities will lead to higher rates and loss of jobs

According to Liberty Utilities and Kentucky Power Company, the sale of Kentucky Power would reduce customer rates by 14-16%.

FRANKFORT, Ky. (WTVQ) – Last October, American Electric Power announced that it sell Kentucky Power to Liberty Utilities for nearly $3 billion.

KPC and Liberty Utilities say rates for customers will not increase as a result of the sale.

According to Liberty Utilities and Kentucky Power Company, the sale of Kentucky Power would reduce customer rates by 14-16%.

How? ‘Or’ What? Liberty Utilities Says Through Customer Benefitssuch as a 3-year “tariff holiday” on collecting the Big Sandy plant decommissioning rider and creating a $40 million fund to help offset fluctuations in fuel rates.

But some state lawmakers in the Mountain Caucus worry the sale could lead to higher long-term rates, poorer service in areas already hit by high energy costs and a loss of jobs.

“We are a state that is blessed with rich natural resources with people trained in these areas who are the best you can find in mining, oil and gas. Their plan, applied to our model, really drove us away. How do you put so many new renewable megawatts into a state without displacing coal, oil, gas, which are our main providers of jobs in our region,” said Republican Senator Brandon Smith.

Some lawmakers signed a letter Thursday outlining their core values ​​and thoughts on the potential sale.

“We’re going to push back and we want to see a plan come up with us with a company that understands that we’re okay with renewable energy, but we want to see that renewable energy, paired with reliable and affordable natural resources, that’s the key to working with the Commonwealth of Kentucky and we haven’t seen that with this deal,” Sen. Smith added.

Gov. Andy Beshear, however, says he favors the sale…that Kentucky Power itself is unable to provide affordable rates to its customers.

“Kentucky Power has been on a spiral over the past decade raising rates for the people who can least afford it without real investment in the area and as rates go up fewer people can pay for it, so they have less money coming in less, they raise rates again,” Governor Beshear said.

The potential sale has more than 30 letters of support from area agencies, chambers and out-of-state clients of Liberty Utilities.

KPC and Liberty Utilities released the following joint statement.

“Liberty negotiated with AEP to purchase Kentucky Power at a fair purchase price and maintain its current employees and operations in eastern Kentucky. This transaction represents the best path forward to ensure a strong future of reliable and cost-effective electrical services, while preserving essential local jobs and creating new ones, all with the goal of improving customer satisfaction.

“We appreciate and respect the interest that Attorney General Cameron and the Kentucky Mountain Caucus members of the General Assembly have shown in this important process. We heard their concerns and responded to them in filings with the Public Service Commission. We want to continue working with them to help Eastern Kentucky prosper by providing meaningful benefits to the region, including jobs and lower electricity bills for Eastern Kentucky residents,” David Swain, President, Liberty South Region

  • If the deal is approved, Liberty has pledged to reduce residential customer bills by 14-16%, which could save Eastern Kentucky residents hundreds of dollars a year on their utility bills. electricity (depending on their electricity consumption).
  • These savings for customers only happen if the purchase is approved. They include a $40 million fund to help offset fuel price volatility and a three-year “tariff holiday” on collecting the Big Sandy Generating Station decommissioning endorsement that is currently part of utility bills. Kentucky Power customers.

Liberty is committed to expanding Kentucky Power’s existing operations in the region, including retaining the current team of Kentucky Power employees, adding approximately 100 new jobs and maximizing the life of the Big Sandy plant. .

  • Liberty plans to create about 100 new high-paying jobs in Eastern Kentucky, including a customer advocate, in-person payment outlets and local customer service agents to provide improved customer service.
  • Liberty continually evaluates the best power generation sources available to serve its customers. We intend to work cooperatively with our customers and the Kentucky Public Service Commission (“PSC”) before any changes are proposed. Ultimately, any changes will require PSC approval.

Liberty’s commitment to Eastern Kentucky and its promise to retain employees, create new jobs and provide lower electricity rates to customers is supported by many local officials and business groups who have sent letters supporting the purchase at the PSC.

More information on the benefits Liberty expects to bring to the region can be found at www.LibertyKentuckyPower.com and in the testimony which Liberty and Kentucky Power filed with the PSC on March 18, 2022.”