If you’ve been following Berea City Council meetings lately, you may have noticed there’s a little confusion about what to call the Kentucky Municipal Energy Agency (KYMEA). More importantly, some question why the City of Berea would join KYMEA in the first place.
For years, Kentucky Utilities has been Berea’s electric provider, and for much of that time, Berea enjoyed relatively stable electricity rates. But things changed in the early 2010s. Facing increasing government regulation, KU opted to shift its operations away from coal-generated electricity to gas. To fund necessary infrastructure for that change, municipal customers like the City of Berea were going to have to foot the bill in the form of increased rates. In the last five years, for example, KU’s rates have gone up nearly 40%, according to Berea city officials.