Customer bills should increase by $2.99 per month
FRANKFORT, Ky. (Jan. 16, 2015) — The Kentucky Public Service Commission (PSC) today granted a rate adjustment to Cumberland Valley Electric.
The electric distribution cooperative will be allowed to increase annual revenue by about $968,000, or 2.43 percent, which is 60 percent of the $1.6 million increase (3.95 percent) requested by Cumberland Valley
This is the first base rate increase granted to Cumberland Valley since 2006, and only the second since 1980.
Residential customers will see the increase solely in their monthly customer charge, which will rise from $5.74 to $8.73. For a typical customer, the total monthly bill will increase by about 2.9 percent.
Monthly customer charges also will rise for other customer classes. The new rates take effect today.
Cumberland Valley said it needed to increase rates in order to maintain financial stability, meet the requirements imposed by its lenders and cover increased operating expenses.
PSC expressed concern over Cumberland Valley’s practice of tying pay raises for salaried employees to the raises negotiated by the utility’s union workers. Salaried employees, including those who negotiate with the union, have an expectation that their pay will be increased by the same percentage as the union workers, the PSC said.
While allowing the proposed increases for salaried workers in this instance, PSC said that “future increases granted to or proposed for salaried employees will need to be fully justified and documented to show the basis” for them.
Cumberland Valley Electric has about 23,700 customers in Bell, Clay, Harlan, Knox, Laurel, Leslie, Letcher, McCreary and Whitley counties in southeastern Kentucky. It is one of 16 cooperatives that own and purchase power from the East Kentucky Power Cooperative Inc.
Results from the hearing are available on the PSC website. The case number is 2014-00159.