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KU Customers Sound Off On Proposed Fee Hike

Kentucky Utilities customers weighed in Tuesday on proposed rate changes that would increase average residential energy bills by $7.16 a month.

Kentucky Utilities says it needs $103 million in new revenue to replace old infrastructure, install "smart meters," and make up for increasing operating costs. 

More than 30 attendees signed up to speak on the suggested changes Tuesday night, questioning Public Service Commission officials on employee salaries at KU, energy efficiency programs, and the benefit to customers. 

"We're going to bear the cost, yet all the profits are going to go to them," James Osborne said. "How much of a savings is going to be applied to our rates?"

Speakers also expressed safety, health, and privacy concerns about the new meters, with critics pointing to cases of the devices overheating and wondering whether they could be hacked. 

The public meeting was the last of three scheduled hearings. A final evidentiary hearing is set to begin on May 9th. The PSC must issue a decision by September 22nd. 

Josh James fell in love with college radio at Western Kentucky University's student station, New Rock 92 (now Revolution 91.7). After working as a DJ and program director, he knew he wanted to come home to Lexington and try his hand in public radio.