AG Cameron's rate intervention efforts save Middlesboro and Clinton over $600,000 in water rate hike
From Ky Attorney General Daniel Cameron -
Attorney General Daniel Cameron announced on Friday, December 11, 2020 that intervention by his Office of Rate Intervention (ORI) before the Kentucky Public Service Commission (PSC) saved Kentuckians over $600,000 in proposed water utility rate increases.
In June of this year, Water Service Corporation of Kentucky (Water Service Kentucky) filed an application with the PSC requesting approval to increase water utility rates by $1,080,300 annually, or 38.32 percent. If approved, the average Kentuckian’s monthly water bill would have increased from $28.68 to $41.81, a $13.13 increase per month.
“Water Service Kentucky requested water utility rate increases that would significantly burden Kentuckians who are already struggling financially due to hardships created by the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Attorney General Cameron. “I appreciate the City of Clinton’s partnership in this case, and I am thankful for the diligent representation of our ORI attorneys who work, on behalf of Kentuckians, to keep utility rates as low as possible.” Water Service Kentucky is owned by Chicago-based Corix Regulated Utilities, Inc. and distributes and sells water to more than 6,000 Kentucky consumers in Bell and Hickman Counties.
The Attorney General’s office intervened in this case on behalf of Kentucky consumers and, alongside the City of Clinton, presented expert testimony to prove that Water Service Kentucky’s suggested rate increase was too high.
“On behalf of the City of Clinton, I am grateful to the Attorney General's Office of Rate Intervention for their exemplary representation of Kentuckians in this case,” said Clinton City Attorney Mary Potter. “We were proud to partner with ORI, and deeply appreciate their work to shield 600 Clinton and 6,000 Middlesboro citizens from steep water utility rate increases.” On December 8, 2020, the PSC entered an order approving Water Service Kentucky to raise rates for an annual increase of $448,721, less than half of the requested increase. The Attorney General’s ORI and the City of Clinton successfully saved Kentucky’s water utility customers more than $600,000.
In its order, the PSC:
Reduced the requested rate increase for an average residential customer from $13.13 per month increase to $4.45 a month.
Decreased the requested fixed monthly customer charge of $15.84 to $13.27.
Denied the proposed additions to its tariff to include a QIP surcharge for qualified infrastructure investments.
Denied the low-income rate proposal, as it violates KRS 278.170(1).