Rates go up for JPEC customers $21.30 per month

(Paducah, Ky. – March 27, 2013) -- Jackson Purchase Energy Corporation (JPEC) announced today it will be filing a rate increase with the Kentucky Public Service Commission that will increase the average residential bill by an estimated $21.30 per 30-day month.

JPEC, which serves 30,000 member-owners in six western Kentucky counties, is filing the increase in anticipation of a nearly $10.9 million increase from its power supplier, Big Rivers Energy Corporation.  It is one of three electric cooperatives in the region that purchase power from Big Rivers.

“While the JPEC board and staff are doing everything we can to hold down power costs, all that effort has been overshadowed by the increase we anticipate receiving from Big Rivers,” said Gary Joiner, JPEC board chair.  "Our workforce is down 10 percent from a year ago and we have trimmed expenses in all areas possible. But with our power bill going up millions of dollars for the same amount of electricity, we have the unpleasant task of passing that increased cost on to our members."

Joiner noted that even if the potential highest levels of rate increases are implemented, JPEC would still be one of the lowest-cost electricity providers in Kentucky.

Big Rivers has filed a $74.5 million rate case with the KPSC and cited the impact of losing its biggest customer, Century Aluminum and its smelter in Hawesville.  Century has given notice that it will stop taking power from Big Rivers in August and seek to supply its needs on the open market.  In addition, Rio Tinto Alcan has also given notice that it will terminate its contract with Big Rivers for their smelter in Sebree effective in January 2014. 

The Jackson Purchase board of directors has previously voted to intervene in the Big Rivers case as a means of representing its members’ interests and assuring Big Rivers is doing all it can to minimize the increase by holding down its costs in every feasible way.

In addition to the increase for residential members, JPEC officials said that commercial and industrial rates are expected to increase by approximately 21 per cent beginning in August.

“We intend to push everyone concerned as hard as we can to minimize the impact of this action on our members,” said Kelly Nuckols, President and CEO of JPEC.  “We also encourage all of our members to take advantage of the energy-saving programs we have that can help hold down power bills.”

Customers can visit www.jpenergy.com/energytips for a number of energy conservation tips involving appliances, heating and air conditioning, windows, light bulbs and other household items.  Officials also encourage members to contact JPEC directly with questions regarding the rate increase or conservation tips at 800-633-4044 or 270-442-7321.

The rate case filed by JPEC is PSC Case # 2013-00068 and information on it will be available on the PSC’s website, psc.ky.gov.