Office of the Attorney General
Attorney General Stumbo Challenges Columbia’s Requested $12.6 Million Rate Increase

Press Release Date:  Tuesday, June 12, 2007  
Contact Information:  Vicki Glass, 502-696-5643 Office  

Attorney General Stumbo today filed documents challenging a request by Columbia Gas for a $12.6 million increase in its rates. In a case pending before the Kentucky Public Service Commission, the Attorney General maintains that the company should receive no more than $1.3 million.

“The company has asked for an outrageous increase in its rates and we intend to fight it in order to keep consumers rates as low as possible,” said Stumbo. “Last winter, people were pushed to the brink in paying to heat their homes. I think it irresponsible for a company to ask for this type of increase.”

Columbia last filed a rate case in 2002 and asked for $2.5 million. The company ultimately decreased its rates by $7.8 million after Attorney General Stumbo argued that rates were already too high. Columbia is also requesting Commission approval for certain ratemaking changes which will almost certainly guarantee the company extra profits in the future.

“A utility is a monopoly and its rates should be set in a manner that enables the company an opportunity to earn a reasonable profit – not a guarantee of the profit,” Stumbo added. “The company proposes to earn a profit regardless of how well it is run or whether it even provides reliable service.” The Attorney General is fighting the company’s request for guaranteed profits.

Columbia serves more than 90,000 customers in 33 Kentucky counties.