Electric bills go up as natural gas rates fall

ASHLAND, KENTUCKY - With the heat of summer already in place, many local residents will notice an increase on their next electricity bills and a decrease in the rate they pay for natural gas.

Electric bills will increase by about $19.75 per month for members of the Grayson Rural Electric Cooperative, while those who get their power from Big Sandy Rural Electric Cooperative will see an increase of about $8.80 per month.

This is Grayson’s first general rate increase since 1998, according to a statement issued by the Public Service Commission. For a residential customer using 1,000 kilowatt hours per month, the new rates will increase the base monthly bill by $19.74, from $86.86 to $106.60, an increase of 22.7 percent.

About $6 of the total increase per average residential bill is due to the increased cost of wholesale power, which Grayson purchases from East Kentucky Power Cooperative, Inc. (EKPC). EKPC’s wholesale rates increased on April 1. Grayson’s RECC has about 15,700 residential and commercial customers in Carter and surrounding counties.

The Kentucky PSC has also accepted a settlement that permits Big Sandy Rural Electric Cooperative Corp. to raise its rates in order to increase its annual revenue by $1.74 million, or about 8 percent. The PSC said it had determined the rates contained in the settlement are fair, just and reasonable.

The new electric rates for Grayson and Big Sandy cooperatives have already taken effect.

In contrast, Columbia Gas customers will pay a decreased rate during the next three months, following a gas cost adjustment by the state’s public service commission.

Columbia Gas customers who have been paying a little more than $10.12 per thousand cubic feet of gas will see a 22 percent decrease in their monthly bill with a rate of slightly more than $7.90 per thousand cubic feet.

Columbia Gas representatives say the rate adjustment is caused by the difference between estimated gas use and actual gas consumption.


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