AG Beshear Seeks Stronger Protections Against Utility Rate Hikes
Attorney General Andy Beshear said many Kentuckians are having to choose between basic necessities and increasing energy costs.
Ahead of the 2019 legislative session, Beshear is urging residents to start pressing state lawmakers to approve a bill that failed in this year’s General Assembly session.
The legislation would give the Public Service Commission broader authority to hold utilities more accountable. It would mandate the PSC to consider whether proposed or current rates are affordable for residential customers.
"Because if a utility can't provide affordable rates, then it needs some competition from a company that can," Beshear said.
Beshear said some Kentuckians are having to choose between food and medicine and energy costs.
The attorney general’s office intervened in a Kentucky Power case earlier this year when the utility requested a rate increase for its eastern Kentucky customers.
A ruling by the PSC gave the utility a smaller increase than it requested and eliminated a surcharge, which actually resulted in an average 4% decrease in monthly electric bills.
The bill also seeks to simplify bills by reducing the number and amount of line items and customer charges. The measure would also require periodic audits of the state’s largest utilities.