Office of the Attorney General
Attorney General Conway Announces $4.49 Million in Rate Savings for Duke Energy Customers
Attorney General Jack Conway today announced a preliminary settlement agreement with Duke Energy Kentucky, Inc., which reduces the company’s original request for a rate increase by more than 25 percent. The agreement limits Duke to a general increase of $13 million, a decrease of $4.49 million from its original request of approximately $17.49 million. The settlement also includes a provision that halts Duke from requesting another rate increase from the Public Service Commission during the next 18 months.
"Under this agreement, Duke’s customers will experience a much smaller increase in their monthly natural gas bills," General Conway said. "I will continue to closely examine all proposed utility rate increases to protect consumers."
In addition to the amount of settlement, Duke has agreed to withdraw a request for a rate mechanism that would have resulted in a dramatic increase in monthly customer charges, regardless of the amount of natural gas customers used. In particular, the company requested to increase the monthly charge from $12 to $30, before adding the costs for delivering the natural gas.
"Ratepayers should be rewarded for their efforts to conserve energy through a corresponding reduction in their bills," said General Conway. "Allowing a utility to reduce its delivery charge and put most of its costs into the fixed monthly customer charge would virtually guarantee the company’s profit, while creating a disincentive for customers who want to conserve and lower their bills."
The Public Service Commission, which must approve the settlement, will hold a hearing on the matter on December 15, 2009, at 10 a.m.
Duke Energy Kentucky, Inc. is a subsidiary of Duke Energy Inc., headquartered in Charlotte, N.C. Duke Energy Kentucky serves approximately 95,000 natural gas customers in seven counties in the Northern Kentucky area.
Since taking office, Attorney General Conway has saved ratepayers more than $97 million in proposed utility rate increases.