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Ky. commission to hear Kentucky Utilities, LG&E rate protest in May

The Kentucky Public Service Commission on March 28 agreed to take another look at parts of an order cutting revenue to Kentucky Utilities Co. and Louisville Gas and Electric Co. to reflect changes in federal corporate income taxes.

The order set a total annual revenue decrease of $203.8 million, an amount $26.9 million higher than one called for in a settlement reached between the PPL Corp. subsidiaries, the Kentucky Industrial Utility Customers and the Kentucky Office of Attorney General. The settlement originally proposed a total revenue decrease of $176.9 million, but the commission said the bigger reduction was a result of modifications made to the way in which the impact of the tax reduction was calculated.

Kentucky Utilities and Louisville Gas and Electric on March 26 asked the commission to reconsider the order, arguing in part that they did not get a chance to address concerns with the settlement prior to the agency's decision.

In a brief order, the commission said it would grant rehearing "to allow the record to be more fully developed on the limited issues raised in the petition of the modification of capitalization and cost of capital."

The commission set a procedural schedule that includes a hearing on May 24. It also said the utilities should implement a so-called "surcredit" to customers at the levels proposed in the settlement on an interim basis, using the allocation to Louisville Gas and Electric's gas operations as modified by the commission's order, to allow the benefits of the credit to get to customers. The credit is to take effect April 1. (Kentucky PSC Case No. 2018-00034)