by Gabe Bullard
Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway is again seeking to have the Public Service Commission throw out a request for a rate increase from LG&E and Kentucky Utilities.
The utilities are seeking to recoup expenses for storm repairs and infrastructure updates. They are also being sold to Pennsylvania-based PPL. Both cases are being considered by the PSC.
Conway contends that the sale will affect the need for a rate increase and that the rate increase would make the sale a better deal for PPL. He wants the PSC to dismiss the rate case, which would force PPL to re-apply for the increase later, if it’s still necessary.
The PSC denied Conway’s previous request last month, but spokesperson Allison Gardner Martin says the request has changed in light of testimony from the utilities.
“There is information that was presented at the hearings that we included in our motion and we believe that we have a strong case,” she says.
Martin declined to specify the testimony in question. PSC spokesperson Andrew Melnykovych says the case now hinges on whatever new evidence might have been added to the request.
“The PSC’s position has been—to this point, and it was made clear in the denial of the original dismissal motion—is that they are separate cases and the utilities operate as standalone entities for the purpose of ratemaking and will continue to do so even after the sale is concluded,” he says.
The utilities are allowed to respond to the request to the PSC. The deadline for the commission to rule on the rate case is in November…two months after it must rule on the sale.