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For the first time in a decade, East Kentucky Power Cooperative is seeking to increase the amount of revenue it recovers in base rates, officials said Thursday.
The not-for-profit, member-owned electric cooperative filed a request today with the Kentucky Public Service Commission to raise the base rates it charges to the 16 electric cooperatives it serves.
For the average household served by those electric cooperatives, the requested increase would amount to about $4.40 on their monthly power bill.
“EKPC has carefully managed rising costs, and we have delayed raising rates as long as we can because we know many Kentucky residents are struggling, especially during the pandemic,” said Tony Campbell, EKPC’s president and CEO. “It is critical that we balance the cost-competitiveness of our energy along with reliable power plants and power lines. We must continue to invest in maintaining and improving EKPC’s infrastructure in order to deliver the reliability our members expect and deserve.”
EKPC owns and operates four major power plants, including the Spurlock Generating Station on Kentucky 8 in Mason County, a solar farm, nearly 3,000 miles of high-voltage transmission lines and almost 450 electric substations.
Campbell noted that EKPC and the 16 electric cooperatives it serves have worked hard over the past decade to manage costs and have improved their cost-competitiveness with other electric utilities in Kentucky, despite the fact that co-ops serve rural areas with eight members per mile of electric line, while Kentucky’s investor-owned utilities serve 25 customers per mile and municipal electric utilities serve 60 customer per mile.
Together, EKPC and its 16 owner-member cooperatives are known as Kentucky’s Touchstone Energy Cooperatives and they work together to promote economic development and bring jobs and investment to the communities they serve. Since 2015, the co-ops have been involved in economic development projects that promise to bring nearly 15,000 jobs and $6.1 billion in new investment to those communities.
In the past year, EKPC launched a sustainability initiative to ensure the cooperative is taking steps to provide reliable, competitively priced and sustainable energy to its owner-member cooperatives far into the future. As part of that effort, EKPC has set targets to reduce carbon dioxide emissions and increase renewables, and is working with owner-member co-ops to develop strategies to meet evolving member expectations.
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