Kentucky Attorney General finds “little support” that Smart Meters will benefit customers “in any way”; eliminates Smart Meter plan

After careful review of the filings in this case, we find little support that smart meter deployment will benefit the ratepayers in any way.”
Andy Beshear, Kentucky Attorney General [1]

April 19, 2017
By John Cheves

Attorney General Andy Beshear on Wednesday announced a settlement with Kentucky Utilities and Louisville Gas & Electric that would reduce a large rate increase the companies requested in November. It also would shelve the utilities’ controversial plan to more than double the fixed monthly charge that all customers must pay, regardless of how much electricity they use.

For a typical Central Kentucky home that buys 1,179 kilowatt hours of electricity per month from KU, the monthly bill would rise by $4.21 under the settlement rather than by $7.16, as KU originally sought.

My office clearly understands the need for utility companies to maintain their infrastructure to better serve ratepayers,” Beshear said in a prepared statement. “But the settlement reached with my office will lessen the impact to Kentuckians by not passing on excessive costs in ways that would be crippling to hundreds of thousands of ratepayers.”

The Kentucky Public Service Commission will review the terms of the settlement at a May 9 hearing in Frankfort.

KU and LG&E initially asked the PSC for a $210 million increase in their annual revenue to pay for a variety of expenses, including infrastructure replacement and the installation of wireless “smart meters” that would allow the companies to more closely track energy use and outage locations. The settlement with Beshear eliminated the plan for smart meters, which the attorney general said would cost ratepayers $350 million without providing them with much benefit.

KU and LG&E sell electricity to nearly 950,000 customers around Kentucky; LG&E also sells natural gas to about 325,000 customers. They are owned by the PPL Corporation of Allentown, Pa.

In a prepared statement, the utilities on Wednesday said they have agreed to accept a $122 million increase in annual revenue. PPL reports making nearly $400 million in profit in Kentucky last year on statewide operating revenue of $3.1 billion. The company this year is boosting its dividend for shareholders by 4 percent to $1.58 per share…. [2]


[2] — Press release



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