The Mountain Association, along with Kentuckians For The Commonwealth (KFTC) and the Kentucky Solar Energy Society (KYSES), were approved to jointly intervene in formal proceedings for a new rate case proposed by Kentucky Power Company. They are represented by Tom FitzGerald with the Kentucky Resources Council.
The organizations filed for status as “intervenors” in the new rate case before the Kentucky Public Service Commission (PSC) to advocate for reasonable rates by Kentucky Power and for fair solar net metering policies. This status as joint intervenors allows the organizations to contribute to the ratemaking scrutiny process with testimony, discovery, and cross-examination.
The Mountain Association’s energy experts help businesses, nonprofits, public agencies and homeowners access thousands of dollars in much-needed energy savings. They have worked with hundreds of small commercial Kentucky Power customers over the last 12 years. Kentucky Power serves all or part of twenty Eastern Kentucky counties.
Among these customers is Isom IGA, whose owner, Gwen Christon, by working with Mountain Association’s energy experts and investing in energy efficiency, has brought her electric bills down from more than $122,000 to less than $84,000 per year. Christon is currently installing a new solar electric system that will bring even more savings to her rural grocery store. Margins are incredibly tight in the grocery industry, so these savings have allowed her to hire more employees, stock a variety of local produce and healthy items, and most importantly, stay open in a community that wouldn’t have a grocery store otherwise.
“Without our organizations intervening in this new rate case, the Public Service Commission may never hear from customers like Gwen in Letcher County,” Mountain Association Commercial Energy Specialist Josh Bills said. “Some of the rates proposed disincentivizes energy efficiency and pose a sizable financial impact on households, organizations and businesses already facing a huge energy cost burden, in the middle of a pandemic.”
Bills will provide information and testimony concerning several aspects of Kentucky Power’s proposed rate adjustment and other regulatory proposals. He plans to call for transparency in billing and avoiding the proposed confusing solar policy, advocating for distributed solar, like what Isom IGA is installing, to remain a viable option, and a new sector of energy work in Eastern Kentucky.
“The Public Service Commission has an obligation to fulfill statutory directive to establish rates that are fair, just and reasonable to all ratepayers,” Bills said. “Our organizations intend to help the PSC hold Kentucky Power accountable to those standards.”
The Mountain Association, KFTC and KYSES have developed their first set of questions for Kentucky Power, which were due August 12.
We will update our blog and social media in the coming weeks to keep you informed on what Kentucky Power is proposing.
KFTC has more information here: www.kftc.org/kentuckypower2020
Public comments, although accepted at any time, are suggested to be sent by the hearing scheduled for November 18-19, 2020. To file public comments in this rate case, include the case number (2020-00174) within the subject line of your email to the Public Information Officer at firstname.lastname@example.org and provide your full name and place of residence in the body of the e-mail; or send via email to Public Service Commission, 211 Sower Boulevard, Post Office Box 615, Frankfort, KY 40602-0615.