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Attorney General Conway Announces Additional Funding to Assist Low-income Heating Program

Friday, 02 22, 2013

Shelley Catharine Johnson
Communications Director
502-696-5659 (office)

Attorney General Jack Conway announced today that his office, and the Kentucky Public Service Commission and Community Action Kentucky (CAK), have secured additional funding to support the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) and related weatherization efforts in Eastern Kentucky. General Conway's Office of Rate Intervention obtained nearly $50,000 to aid LIHEAP as a result of a March 2012 settlement between the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) and Constellation Energy Commodities Group over Constellation's alleged manipulation of the wholesale energy market.

"I am pleased that we were able to secure additional funds for Kentucky families struggling to heat their homes," General Conway said. "This money was put into use immediately to assist Kentucky households facing imminent termination of their electric services. I am proud of the work my Office of Rate Intervention did to secure the additional funding and the work it does every day on behalf of Kentucky ratepayers."

Under the settlement, FERC ordered Constellation to surrender more than $110 million in unjust profits to be placed in a fund to benefit electric energy consumers in the affected states.

The Kentucky Public Service Commission (PSC) and the Office of Rate Intervention determined the amount of money due Kentucky and saw that it was allocated for LIHEAP funding in the service territory of Kentucky Power Co., which was impacted by the alleged market manipulation.

"We are pleased that this settlement will assist those ratepayers most severely impacted by energy prices that were higher than they should have been," PSC Chairman David Armstrong said. "The PSC was happy to play a role in achieving this result."

Kentucky's share of the fund totaled approximately $49,700, which was paid this month directly to CAK and distributed to five community action agencies. The funds will assist LIHEAP eligible households in the 20- county service territory affected by the settlement.

"These funds could not come at a more opportune time. The five agencies in Eastern Kentucky have exhausted their initial allotment for LIHEAP so this influx will enable more families to receive assistance during the rest of the winter", said Mike Moynahan, Energy Program Director at Community Action Kentucky.

Community Action Kentucky ("CAK"), a non-profit social services agency that operates as the umbrella organization for regional Community Action Agencies, who are contractors for the distribution of LIHEAP funds within Kentucky. The Crisis component of the LIHEAP runs from January through March 31st or until all funds are exhausted, whichever occurs first. For more information regarding LIHEAP, go to: http://communityactionky.org/Agencies/GetAssistance/LIHEAPProgram/tabid/526/Default.aspx.

Since 2008, General Conway's Office of Rate Intervention has intervened in rate cases and other utility matters resulting in more than $1 billion in savings for ratepayers.