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A full-page advertisement in newspapers last week by Kentucky Utilities Company and Louisville Gas and Electric Company at first glance might have been confused with a rate-increase request, but a spokesperson for KU says if their plan is approved by Kentucky Public Service Commission residential customers will see an annual savings on electric bills.

Liz Pratt, media relations manager for Kentucky Utilities, e-mailed “ … if our new plan is approved, residential customers would see annual bill savings of between $8 to $12 in 2018, and $26 to $33 in 2019, when compared to 2017 demand-side management rates. KU serves about 11,000 customers in Pulaski County, and of those, about 8,000 are residential, and about 3,000 are commercial and industrial customers.

Pratt said energy efficiency programs sponsored by the utility companies and embraced by customers have been able to offset roughly the same amount of energy that would be supplied by a new power plant. The utilities set a goal in 2008 of saving approximately 500 megawatts of capacity and, to date – with a year remaining for existing programs – they have essentially reached that goal, Pratt said in a news release.

“The programs were designed to help change customers’ (habits) in regards to using energy more wisely. Through their combined use of more energy-efficient appliances, devices and lighting in homes and businesses, customers have saved money and energy,” according to David Huff, director of Energy Efficiency and Emerging Technologies.

Utilities are required by regulation to meet customers’ energy needs at the lowest reasonable cost. Because of a variety of factors that include the abundance of more energy-efficient appliances, devices and lighting in homes and businesses, some existing programs are no longer cost-effective. As a result of allowing certain programs that are no longer cost-effective to expire, if LG&E and KU’s new plan is approved, residential customers would see the annual savings on their electric bills.

“Today’s average customer is much more energy-efficient than when we ramped up our program offerings years ago. Coupled with the fact that we do not need to offset additional capacity for the immediate future, the cost of continuing to offer some of our existing programs simply outweighed the benefits to our customers,” Huff added.

Chief among the changes requested in the extension will be the addition of industrial customers to the revised nonresidential programs and the addition of a master-metered multifamily component to WeCare that would target properties that qualify for governmental subsidies such as Section 8 housing.

“The programs for which we are requesting commission approval allow us to continue offering customers, especially some of our most vulnerable ones, energy efficiency choices and provide programs to engage the industrial segment for the first time,” Huff said. “We thank our customers for helping us achieve this success and want to continue offering a variety of tools, tips and programs to help them use energy wisely.”

Louisville Gas and Electric Company and Kentucky Utilities Company, part of the PPL Corporation (NYSE: PPL) family of companies, are regulated utilities that serve nearly 1.3 million customers and have consistently ranked among the best companies for customer service in the United States. KU serves 549,000 customers in 77 Kentucky counties and five counties in Virginia.