Rates for Madison County’s 10,320 Blue Grass Energy Cooperative customers increased almost 15 percent as of Monday, according to information released by the Kentucky Public Service Commission (PSC).

The monthly base rate for the average residential customer (one using 1.300 kilowatt hours of electricity per month), will be $108.30.

The former monthly bill for customers in the “Blue Grass” district, which includes Madison County, was $94.30. The new amount is a 14.8 percent increase, according to Andrew Melnykovych, director of communications for the Kentucky Public Service Commission.

All residential customers will pay an “across-the-board” monthly customer charge of $8.75. This cost for the Blue Grass region originally was $5.44; $8.86 for the Harrison region; and $5.53 for the Fox Creek region.

Former monthly bills for the Harrison and Fox Creek regions were $95.02 and $98.06, respectively.

Representatives of Blue Grass Energy Cooperative submitted an application in April asking that they be given the authority to increase its base rates by $7,838,023, which is a 9 percent increase in annual revenue.

Blue Grass Energy representatives submitted a Settlement Stipulation and Recommendation package July 31.

They were granted a revenue increase of $7,405,930, which is approximately $432,000 less than the amount proposed in their application.

“The (Public Service) commission finds that the $7,405,930 revenue increase and the proposed rates provided for in the settlement will result in fair, just and reasonable rates for Blue Grass to charge for electric service,” according to the Public Service Commission’s official order dated Aug. 28.

Magen Howard, communications advisor for Blue Grass Energy Cooperative, said the increase was a result of “a mixed bag of reasons.”

“The cost of doing business has gone up in the past 25 years. Some of our customers have not seen an increase since 1983,” Howard said.

But even as costs continue to increase, Blue Grass Energy will stand by its members, which are the most important part of the cooperative, said Jody Hughes, chairman of the Blue Grass Energy board of directors.

“As we head into a rate increase, we at Blue Grass Energy will do everything we can to help you keep your costs as low as possible,” Hughes said. “Remember, we don’t need to make a profit for investors. Our main interest is serving our members.”

Blue Grass Energy offers several ways to help customers pay their bills, including AutoPay, Levelized Budget Billing and Simple Savings. More information on these plans can be found by visiting www.bgenergy.com.

Blue Grass Energy has about 54,000 customers in Anderson, Bourbon, Bracken, Estill, Fayette, Franklin, Garrard, Grant, Harrison, Henry, Jackson, Jessamine, Madison, Mercer, Nelson, Nicholas, Pendleton, Robertson, Scott, Shelby, Spencer, Washington and Woodford counties.

It is one of 16 distribution cooperatives that purchases power from East Kentucky Power Cooperative.

Ronica Shannon can be reached at rshannon@richmondregister.com or 623-1669, Ext. 234.

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