It recently got a little more difficult for Kentucky Power customers to know what their rate schedules are, and customers can expect to pay a higher environmental surcharge to the company.
In two cases, the Kentucky Public Service Commission recently granted Kentucky Power the ability to limit the way it informs the public about its rates and approved an increase in an environmental surcharge so the company can comply with federal regulations.
Kentucky Power filed an application on Feb. 6, asking the PSC for a deviation from a state requirement that it publish rate schedules on its web site, by printing the schedule on bills, in newspapers or mailing it to customers every year.
Kentucky Power asked, instead, for permission to furnish rate schedules to customers on its website, or "by request," via mail, email or telephone calls to, (800) 572-1113.
Kentucky Power reported in its application that to comply with the law, it currently posts the tariffs on its website and mails the applicable rate schedule to each customer annually as an insert included in customer bills. The company states in the application that while mailing the insert is "the most cost-effective and administratively-feasible method" of complying with the regulation, it "nevertheless imposes costs" on the company because it must reformat each tariff rate schedule so it can be included as a bill insert and it must use a third party to print the inserts.
"The billing insert is an out-of-the-ordinary project requiring manual programming by both Kentucky Power and its printing vendor," the application states. "It is also time consuming and costly because of the variations required for each customer class."
"Kentucky Power proposes to streamline and simplify its process of furnishing copies of applicable rate schedules to customers by implementing a process consistent with the current regulation," the application states.
It includes a paragraph proposed to be added to bills that notifies customers that they can access rates online, via a website link provided, by clicking a "Kentucky Tariffs" link to view their tariff rates or by asking to view the tariff sheets at the company's office or by calling the company's customer service line.
It reports mailing the inserts costs about $10,000 and the proposed method would save the company that amount annually.
The PSC cited that cost in its ruling, reporting that Kentucky Power's proposal would save that much annually and that it is consistent with language in the state regulation.
In the case, Kentucky Power reported that more than 48,000 of its customers receive their bills electronically. That number reflects about 29% of its customer base of 165,400 residents in Floyd, Pike, Perry, Johnson and other counties.
There were no intervenors in the case or requests for information about internet service access to those customers.
That case is available online at, psc.ky.gov under case number 2020-00022.
In another case, 2019,00389, the PSC also granted a request from Kentucky Power to increase its environmental surcharge to fund a clean coal project that's required for a plant in Indiana.
That request was filed with the PSC in November 2019, in a case in which the company sought approval of its environmental compliance plan.
The plan was amended to add a project that would include the installation of a Selective Catalytic Reduction System, or SCRS at its Rockport plant, located near Rockport, Indiana, a project that is required under the federal Clean Air Act and consent decree the company was a party to in federal court in Ohio in 2007.
The PSC reported that the cost of the entire project is $233.5 million and Kentucky Power's estimated annual revenue requirement for the project is $11.9 million. The company reported this project would be less expensive that terminating the Rockport Unit.
That increase is expected to increase residential customers bills by 2.20 percent and 2.07 for other customers.
"For a residential customer using 1,267 kWh per month, the monthly increase in the customer's bill is expected to be $3.32," Kentucky Power reported.
Average customer bills will increase from about $151 to about $154, the company reported.
According to testimony provided in the case, the Rockport plant unit mentioned in the case cannot operate past June 2020 without a new SCRS system being installed. It's described as an "advanced clean coal technology" designed to reduce nitrogen oxide emissions associated with the combustion of coal.
In a May 18 ruling, the PSC approved the compliance plan and the surcharge tariff for service rendered on or after May 31.