Public Service Commission
PSC Delays Columbia Gas Rate Hearing - Proposed settlement not ready for consideration
The Kentucky Public Service Commission (PSC) today delayed the hearing on the request for a rate increase by Columbia Gas of Kentucky, Inc. because a proposed settlement had not been agreed to by all parties to the case.
Further proceedings in the case were postponed until Friday. At that time, the PSC will determine whether to consider the rate adjustment application as submitted by Columbia Gas or the proposed settlement.
A settlement in the case was announced yesterday by the Kentucky Office of Attorney General. Because that settlement was not unanimous, it may not be considered by the PSC.
The Kentucky Supreme Court held in 1993, in a case (Kentucky-American Water Co. v. Cowan) brought by the Office of Attorney General and Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government (LFUCG), that the PSC may not consider settlements unless all parties to the case are in agreement.
As of today, LFUCG had not agreed to the settlement with Columbia Gas.
The PSC held a brief hearing today to discuss the status of the case. It then decided to postpone further proceedings in the case.
The hearing will resume Friday, Sept. 18, at 11 a.m. at the PSC offices at 211 Sower Boulevard in Frankfort. It may be viewed live on the PSC Web site, psc.ky.gov.
Columbia’s application and other documents in the case are available on the Web site. The case number is 2009-00141.
In addition to Columbia Gas, the Attorney General and LFUCG, parties to the case are the Kentucky Industrial Utility Customers, Inc.; the American Association of Retired Persons; Constellation NewEnergy-Gas Division, LLC; Interstate Gas Supply, Inc.; Stand Energy Corp.; and Community Action for Lexington-Fayette, Bourbon, Harrison and Nicholas Counties, Inc.
Columbia Gas has requested an increase in annual revenue of $11.5 million. The request also includes an increase in the monthly customer charge from the present $9.30 to $26.53 in two years.
The PSC is an independent agency attached for administrative purposes to the Energy and Environment Cabinet. It regulates more than 1,500 gas, water, sewer, electric and telecommunication utilities operating in Kentucky and has approximately 100 employees.