Louisville Metro Government to seek intervention in LG&E rate increase case

December 2, 2016

Louisville Metro Government will seek to intervene in the pending case before the Public Service Commission (PSC) involving Louisville Gas & Electric’s request for an increase in utility rates.

The city’s $17 million LG&E annual expense makes Louisville Metro one of the largest, if not the largest, single customers that LG&E serves. LG&E’s requested 8.5 percent rate increase would affect all local residents and could potentially reduce the number of local families served by Louisville Metro’s low-income heating assistance program. As the state’s largest urban area, Louisville Metro also provides and pays for the most extensive street light and traffic light infrastructure of any city in Kentucky.

"It's important for Metro Government to be part of the discussion on a decision that will impact every household in our city,” Mayor Greg Fischer said. “This will allow us the ability to advocate for the citizens of Louisville while better understanding the needs of LG&E."

Fischer said this strategy aligns with other efforts to keep utility rate increase as low as possible, including at MSD and Louisville Water. The Mayor said he was especially concerned about the impact of rate increases on low-income families.

Mike O’Connell, in his capacity as Jefferson County Attorney, will directly represent Louisville Metro and the interests of its citizens on this matter. The county attorney will also engage an outside law firm and use other expert resources as necessary.

“Louisville Metro has a special interest in this case that cannot be represented by any other party,” O’Connell said. “It is important that the concerns of Louisville be heard. We will present issues and develop facts that will assist the Public Service Commission in fully considering this issue.”

Louisville Metro will formally file its motion to intervene with the PSC later this month. The PSC will then decide whether to grant Louisville Metro’s request, along with any other groups who have already sought or may seek intervenor status.

The decision to seek intervention drew praise from other city officials.

“It is important that Metro Government intercede to be a voice for the hundreds of thousands of people who will not be able to speak directly to the Public Service Commission,” Metro Council President David Yates said.  “For many households, the economy is slowly improving and we as representatives for every citizen of Louisville have a duty to ensure no undue burden is placed upon the shoulders of rate payers, of whom many are only just beginning to find room to breathe, financially. I fully support Metro Government’s decision to intervene.”

 “Many of us on Metro Council have concerns about LG&E's rate request, particularly the troublesome increase in fixed charges, which have the potential to undermine energy efficiency and disproportionately impact low-income residents,’ Councilman Bill Hollander said.  “Louisville Metro should have a seat at the table as these issues are decided and we applaud the decision to intervene.” 

“It is important for Louisville Metro to speak on behalf of our residents,” Councilman Kevin Kramer said.  “While it is appropriate for LG&E to seek ways to more efficiently offer and monitor its service, these efforts should actually result in lower long term costs for LG&E.  A temporary increase in expense should not lead to a long term increase in rates.”