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Duke Energy Kentucky proposes new customer benefits, seeks public review of electric base rates as it continues multimillion-dollar grid improvements in Northern Kentucky

- Outlines strategic, data-driven investments leading to safer, more reliable and secure energy for customers and communities

- Asks to allow residential customers to pay monthly bill via credit card, debit card or electronic check without $1.50 convenience fee at time of transaction

- Proposes battery storage and electric vehicle charging pilot programs, and new options for communities looking to pursue LED streetlights

- Recommends new renewable energy option for large energy users

CINCINNATI, Sept. 3, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- As a result of its ongoing investments in the region's electric delivery system and power generation stations, Duke Energy Kentucky today filed a request for the Kentucky Public Service Commission to perform a public review of the company's rates.

Duke Energy, the nation's largest electric utility, unveils its new logo. (PRNewsFoto/Duke Energy) (PRNewsfoto/Duke Energy)

Northern Kentucky's residents, businesses and communities are benefiting from the company's ongoing strategic improvements to the electric grid and its generating plants. This work will enable Duke Energy Kentucky to continue to deliver safe, reliable and efficient service to all customers in this growing region.

The company asked the commission for permission to increase base rates by about $45.6 million – or an average of about 12.5%. If the proposal is approved, a residential customer who uses an average of 1,000 kilowatt-hours of electricity each month would pay about $112.08 per month, an increase of about $15.62.

"We're making strategic, data-driven investments to improve reliability and protect our system against cyber and physical threats," said Amy Spiller, president of Duke Energy Ohio/Kentucky. "Our work is paying off for customers by reducing the frequency and length of outages and delivering more choices and control when it comes to their energy use."

Company proposes new programs and to eliminate "convenience fee" when paying monthly bill
In addition to recovering the company's multimillion-dollar investments across Northern Kentucky, Duke Energy Kentucky's rate request contains proposals that aim to add value for its customers, including: 

  • Creating a fee-free payment option for residential customers who wish to pay their monthly utility bills with credit cards, debit cards or electronic checks. Currently, these customers must pay a $1.50 fee at the time of transaction to use any of these payment methods.
  • Building a 5.5-megawatt distribution battery storage pilot project in Edgewood, Ky., that will benefit all customers by regulating voltage on the grid. The prospective project will be located on a circuit that will benefit from enhanced reliability given its proximity to a major hospital.
  • Establishing an electric vehicle charging pilot program to expand electric vehicle charging infrastructure across Northern Kentucky, provide modest incentives to assist customers when investing in related technologies and help Duke Energy Kentucky study the impacts of electric vehicle charging on the overall electric grid. The program would focus on fast-charge systems, electric transit bus charging, non-road electric equipment like forklifts and airport ground service equipment, and residential and commercial charging stations.
  • Expanding LED streetlighting options to provide customers with more choices for fixtures, poles and more.

"Our customers want us to do more when it comes to advanced energy technologies and improving their experiences with our company," said Spiller. "We've responded with technologies and programs to make it easier to pay bills and help our customers and communities experience and employ the latest in energy technology advancements."

Additional renewable energy option proposed
Duke Energy Kentucky also proposes the creation of the Green Source Advantage program as part of today's filing. This offering would provide a convenient and cost-effective way for qualifying large energy users to meet their internal sustainability goals.

"Current and prospective commercial and industrial customers want more choices when it comes to renewables," said Spiller. "The Green Source Advantage program can provide flexible options for companies to meet their sustainability goals on their own terms."

Through this voluntary program, customers can work with Duke Energy Kentucky to procure renewable energy resources, with the cost and net revenues billed to the customer through a new tariff.

The Green Source Advantage program would supplement Duke Energy Kentucky's existing renewable energy and sustainability programs and offerings. The company currently offers GoGreen Kentucky, which gives customers the ability to support the development of green power sources. In addition, Duke Energy Kentucky owns about 6.8 megawatts of solar power plants across three Northern Kentucky projects and is exploring additional solar projects across its system.

More information and next steps
In the coming weeks, the Kentucky Public Service Commission will issue a procedural schedule to provide opportunities for customers and other stakeholders to participate in this public process. The commission will then consider all testimony and schedule an evidentiary hearing in Frankfort. Duke Energy Kentucky expects the entire process to be complete in the first half of 2020.

Information about Duke Energy Kentucky's request for a regulatory rate review is available at duke-energy.com/KYrates. Regulatory filings related to this docket are available on the Kentucky Public Service Commission's website.

Duke Energy Kentucky provides electric service to approximately 142,900 customers in Boone, Campbell, Grant, Kenton and Pendleton counties in Kentucky. The company also delivers natural gas to about 100,000 customers in these counties as well as Bracken and Gallatin counties, though today's regulatory filing does not impact rates for Duke Energy Kentucky's natural gas customers.

Duke Energy Ohio/Kentucky
Duke Energy Ohio/Kentucky, a subsidiary of Duke Energy, provides electric service to about 860,000 residential, commercial and industrial customers in a 3,000-square-mile service area, and natural gas service to approximately 538,000 customers.

Duke Energy (DUK), a Fortune 150 company headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., is one of the largest energy holding companies in the U.S. It employs 30,000 people and has an electric generating capacity of 51,000 megawatts through its regulated utilities, and 3,000 megawatts through its nonregulated Duke Energy Renewables unit.

Duke Energy is transforming its customers' experience, modernizing the energy grid, generating cleaner energy and expanding natural gas infrastructure to create a smarter energy future for the people and communities it serves. The Electric Utilities and Infrastructure unit's regulated utilities serve approximately 7.7 million retail electric customers in six states – North Carolina, South Carolina, Florida, Indiana, Ohio and Kentucky. The Gas Utilities and Infrastructure unit distributes natural gas to more than 1.6 million customers in five states – North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Ohio and Kentucky. The Duke Energy Renewables unit operates wind and solar generation facilities across the U.S., as well as energy storage and microgrid projects.

Duke Energy was named to Fortune's 2019 "World's Most Admired Companies" list, and Forbes' 2019 "America's Best Employers" list. More information about the company is available at duke-energy.com. The Duke Energy News Center contains news releases, fact sheets, photos, videos and other materials. Duke Energy's illumination features stories about people, innovations, community topics and environmental issues. Follow Duke Energy on Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and Facebook.

Contact: Lee Freedman
24-Hour: 800.559.3853

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