Louisville Gas and Electric will request a rate increase later this month from the Kentucky Public Service Commission.

The company is proposing an increase of about seven percent for both electric and gas base rates. If it’s approved, it will raise the typical residential customer’s bill by about $10.65 per month beginning next year.

LG&E spokeswoman Chris Whelan says the rate increase is necessary for the company to recover money it has invested in the system.

“We basically have spent a billion dollars in investments, to serve our customers more reliably and safely,” she said. “And that includes 4,000 projects such as infrastructure improvements to transmission, distribution and our plants.”

The company is also asking for approval to begin a five-year program to update and maintain gas lines. If this is approved, it will add an additional $2.35 a month to the typical residential bill.

The company is also requesting a similar increase for Kentucky Utilities customers.

“We don’t take these decisions lightly and we do understand the impacts, but we feel like we’re investing in the system to deliver safe and reliable power to meet our customers’ needs,” Whelan said.

She added that because natural gas commodities have declined, even once the rate increase goes into effect, customers will still see lower bills than in 2008.