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Group starts radio ad opposing proposed rate hike

OWENSBORO, Ky. (AP) -- A coalition of western Kentucky utility consumers has launched a radio ad campaign to oppose a proposed rate increase sought by Big Rivers Electric Corp.

The ads encourage consumers to attend public hearings on the proposed increase.

If the proposal is approved, electric customers in western Kentucky could see their bills increase by nearly 20 percent.

The ads, backed by a group called Fair Rates Kentucky, are playing on radio stations throughout western Kentucky.

On Thursday, the Kentucky Public Service Commission will hear public comments on the proposed increase. The hearings are set for Owensboro and Henderson with a videoconference in Brandenburg. The PSC has rescheduled a videoconference in Paducah to June 18.

Big Rivers wants to adjust rates to offset the loss of its biggest customer, the Century Aluminum Co. smelter.