Paducah Power rates decrease

The Paducah Power System Board voted to lower its power cost adjustment rates Monday.

The power cost adjustment portion of the rates will go down half a cent per kilowatt hour, versus one cent as initially planned. Since November, the PCA rate has been frozen at 2.15 cents per kilowatt hour as part of the Paducah Rate Recovery Plan. 

Starting in July, the PCA rate will drop to 1.65 kwh. To put that into perspective, an average customer who uses 1000 kilowatt hours a month will save about $5 a month, which is about a $20 difference from the PCA cost in April 2014.

So, with the base rate at $0.1153 per kilowatt hour and the new PCA rate of $0.01656 per kilowatt hour, customers will pay a total kilowatt hour rate of $0.12809. Since last February, that is a 54 percent reduction in the PCA and about a 12 percent overall drop in customers’ bills.

Paducah Power System Chairman Hardy Roberts says to keep the rates lower in the long term, Paducah Power will have to sell or lease some of its assets.

“We got a lot of power here, and that all costs money. We have to pay that every month,” Harvey said.

Paducah Power has a total capacity of 241 mega-watts, but only use about 80 mega-watts.

Paducah Power General Manager Gary Zheng is working to sell or lease the excess power to prevent any rate increase, but he also stresses that folks should wary of their power usage now, as higher temperatures lead to more air conditioning usage and higher bills.

For people having trouble paying their bills, Paducah Power started Operation Roundup a couple months ago. PPS Spokeswoman Andrea Underwood says it has helped almost 300 customers.

“We have at least one person every day who is taken off our cutoff list just because of Operation Roundup Money,” Underwood said.

Customers can voluntarily check on their bill whether to round it up to the nearest dollar. She says those cents then go to a fund that helps people who are having trouble paying their bills.

The PPS Board voted for a new agreement with Cooperative Response Center. The company specializes in utilities. They’ll be able to access Paducah Power’s system, and address calls on weekdays and weekends. The big feature: They’ll be able to update power outages through a map online. Paducah Power hopes to have that running before the end of the year. 

The board also voted to keep Hardy Roberts as chairman.

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