Although we’re entering the heart of winter, officials with one of Kentucky’s best known utilities are thinking about a summertime storm. Louisville Gas and Electric has been given public service commission approval to set up a separate account to deal with costs tied to a wind storm last August. State Public Service Commission spokesman, Andrew Melnykovych says L-G and E says it storm damage costs for 2011 exceeds 14 million, nearly triple the annual amount budgeted.
“At some point when they come in for their next rate cast.. in probably a couple of years or so..that’s the earliest they can do it..then they can seek to recover those costs through rates…the next time they file a rate case,” said Melnykovych.
Melynykovych says the approval for the accounting method doesn’t guarantee the utility can recover all of the costs through rates. He says another well known power firm Kentucky Utilities has not made such a request this year.
“They did in in 2008 and 2009 with the wind storm and then the big ice storm.. The wind storm they had fairly minimal regulatory asset I think it was something like two million dollars..but for the ice storm they were up in excess of 60 million for a regulatory asset,” added Melnykovych.
A separate account to track power restoration costs is termed a ‘regulatory asset.’
More than 126 thousand power customers, the vast majority in the Louisville area, lost power during the August 13th wind storm.