Beware of Louisville Gas & Electric's policies because they may leave you in the dark. After speaking with the Customer Service Department at LG&E it appears that if you are only four days late with your payment, you will receive a disconnect notice and your electric will be turned off.
That's right. Four days. If you have paid every single bill in full for the last twelve months and say, your bill was due on the 28th of December for a reading done on the 15th of December, you would be subject to disconnection on the 4th of January.
Seems a bit harsh. Given the economic times, and the unemployment rate which is soaring, one would think LG&E would be a bit more flexible before turning out the lights. Yet, it seems they have moved in the opposite direction.
Both Fox News, Wave 3 and WHAS have done stories on this very issue because people are having their electric turned off across Louisville at an alarming rate.
Apparently, the problem started when LG&E changed their billing cycle in the spring. One of the first articles that appeared about this problem was in May of 2009. It involved a man who needed his electricity for medical devices and who was receiving federal aid as a disabled veteran . Despite paying his bill on the same date every month, his electric was turned off because of the billing cycle change. Read about the story here:
In more recent months, it seems there were issues involving payments that had been erroneously credited to people's accounts. When LG&E went to correct the error, months later, they demanded the excess be paid immediately. When it wasn't paid, LG&E shut off their electic, demanded a reconnect fee and an even heftier deposit. Read about those stories here:
If these policies, which have left a great many Louisvillians in the dark aren't bad enough, LG&E is also proposing an unprecedented rate hike on January 28th, 2010, to help pay the cost of building a 1.2 billion electricity-generating plant in Trimble County that is scheduled for completion in May of 2010. This would translate to an additional $8.92 a month for customers using 992 kilowatt hours, which is an average amount for Louisville customers. This amounts to nearly a 12 percent increase in electric rates and nearly a 9 percent increase in residential gas rates.
The Rev. James Tennyson, Executive Director of the Justice Resource Center, said he was "just appalled" by the LG&E request, especially since the economy is so weak and the unemployment rate is skyrocketing. He vowed that he and other advocates will fight the request by testifying in front of the Public Service Commission. "People are still out of work, home foreclosures haven't stablized yet and jobs are the last things to come around ... and to hit the poor working class that are on fixed incomes at this point in time is unreal." Tennyson said.
And while Kentucky sales tax is higher than its ever been at 6.0 percent, it seems LG&E receives a tax break for utlities. That's right. They don't have to pay taxes because Kentucky doesn't tax purchases made by utlity companies. This exemption was supposed to encourage utility companies to purchase pollution control equipment. Yeah, right ...
In the meantime, the rest of us pay more. In the meantime, many Louisvillians are in the dark. So, beware of those LG&E bills. After five days have passed, you may not be able to read this article.