Members of the West Virginia Public Service Commission heard from the public for a third time regarding yet another rate increase request that would cause electric bills to go up. The PSC held a public hearing Monday evening at their offices in Charleston regarding three of Appalachian Power and Wheeling Power’s most recent Expanded Net Energy Costs (ENEC) cases. The PSC held two public hearings in Cabell and Mercer counties two weeks ago.
In the most recent case filed in April, Appalachian Power and Wheeling Power both American Electric Power (AEP) subsidiaries serving 462,000 customers in 25 counties in the state are seeking a more than $641.7 million rate increase to recover their costs for coal used to power its three electric plants in the state, including the Mitchell Power Plant in Marshall County.
The rate increase request would amount to approximately a $20 per month increase for the average AEP ratepayer in West Virginia, according to PSC Chairwoman Charlotte Lane.
What we have heard from the people, of course, is they don’t want this big increase and they want us to pay attention to the facts and be aware that a lot of people can’t afford big rate increases. It’s very helpful for us to hear from the public, she said.