Duke Energy Kentucky is seeking regulatory approval to increase tariffs for gas consumers, the division’s first review in nine years.
The utility has asked the Kentucky Public Service Commission to increase its tariffs by approximately $10.5 million to be able to raise funds to direct towards grid modernisation.
Duke Energy Kentucky says it wants to improve its grid network by adopting smart grid technologies and data-driven business models to enhance the reliability and resiliency of network providing gas to 100,000 consumers in Northern Kentucky.
Residential consumers using an average of 53Ccf of gas per month will have tariffs increased by 10.2% or $5.78. Monthly bill will increase from $56.79 to $62.57
The energy firm has invested $200 million to improve its gas distribution over the past nine years.
Investments include replacing ageing distribution lines with high-grade plastic pipes, expanding gas transmission network to meet growing demand and installation of digital gas meters and related technologies.
Amy Spiller, president of Duke Energy Ohio/Kentucky. "These are strategic investments in our infrastructure and our region that are providing benefits to our customers today and will continue to do so for years to come."
The filed proposal includes directing $5.2 million in annual savings for customers resulting from the federal Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.
"The tax act has provided a unique benefit to our customers by offsetting some of this proposed increase.
"And this $5.2 million is in addition to the roughly $16.5 million in annual tax savings that we're already passing along to our electric customers in Kentucky," adds Spiller.
"I commend our gas operations employees for keeping a close eye on our operation and maintenance costs and achieving many efficiency and productivity advantages in their work," said Spiller. "Because of their intentional focus, we were able to continue delivering exceptional service without having to increase our rates for many years."
The rate review process is expected to last until March or April 2019.