Mar 01, 2011

Kentucky American Water Granted New Rates by Public Service Commission

Approved rates lower than those company implemented in September

The Kentucky Public Service Commission (PSC) approved new rates for Kentucky American Water customers, reaching a decision on a rate increase request the company filed in February of this year, and approving an increase in the company´s annual revenue by $18.8 million.

The company´s rate increase request was based primarily on the $164 million investment it has made in securing ample water supply for its Central Kentucky customers through the construction of a new water treatment plant in Owen County, a 31-mile pipeline to bring the treated water to Central Kentucky and related facilities. This historic project, addressing a 20-year water supply challenge, was completed in September, and ensures that Kentucky American Water customers´ current and future water needs can be met for at least the next 20 to 30 years. The plant has been in use since Sept. 20.

As permitted by Kentucky law, Kentucky American Water put into effect on Sept. 29 the rates it originally proposed in February. The rates approved today by the PSC are lower. With the new, PSC-approved rates, the water service portion of a Kentucky American Water bill, for the average residential customer using 5,000 gal of water per month, will be $35.40. Other adjustments determined by today´s PSC decision affect rates for such services as meter services and new taps. Since today´s approved rates are lower than those implemented in September, the company will refund the difference to customers, plus interest, through a credit on their bills, which will occur within the next 60 days.

"We appreciate the rigorous, nearly 10-month review process of the PSC and respect the decision they have reached. We believe the case we presented in February was solid and justified the rate increase that was requested to cover the significant investment we have made to solve Central Kentucky´s water supply deficit,” said Kentucky American Water President Nick Rowe.

“While we recognize that rate increases of any kind are rarely welcomed, we have the responsibility to make appropriate investments in our operations so that we can continue to ensure reliable, quality water for our customers. At less than a penny a gallon, water remains one of the lowest utility bills for homeowners. We are committed to providing good value for our customers."