The Kentucky Public Service Commission accepted a settlement increasing the base electric and natural gas rates for Kentucky Utilities Company and Louisville Gas and Electric Company customers. The rate increases take effect Jan. 1. The average monthly bill for a KU residential customer will increase around $5. LG&E electric customers can expect around a $4 increase and natural gas customers a $5.50 increase.
Ameren Illinois officials say consumers should expect natural gas prices this winter to be similar to last year’s prices. The Peoria-based gas delivery company serves 1.2 million electric and more than 800,000 natural gas customers in southern and central Illinois. Ameren gas supply manager Ken Dothage says prices should stay the same this winter because North American gas supply has increased. He says slower U.S. and global economies along with a decreased worldwide demand for energy also play a role in the steady price of natural gas.
The Tennessee Valley Authority's reliance on coal has dropped and the use of natural gas as fuel to generate electricity has increased. The Commercial Appeal reports TVA's use of gas climbed 70 percent in the fiscal year ended September 30. At the same time, coal-fired generation declined 30 percent from fiscal year 2011.
Natural gas provides an increasingly large share of the country’s electricity. And now, the fuel is growing in popularity as an alternative to gasoline. A new Louisville plant is betting that natural gas as a vehicle fuel is a technology that will be around for decades or longer.