CHARLESTON — Residential Appalachian Power customers will see a more than 6 percent increase on their monthly power bills due to a modification conditionally approved by West Virginia’s public service commission.
The Public Service Commission of West Virginia has conditionally approved a Modified Rate Base Cost tracker and surcharge for Appalachian Power and Wheeling Power companies and imposed a three-year moratorium on the companies filing for a base rate increase.
The purpose of the tracker and surcharge is to allow the companies limited cost recovery related to capital investments made between rate cases, PSC officials said Thursday.
The companies originally requested $48.2 million to cover rate base increases since their last base rate case. The commission reduced that amount to $44.2 million, officials with the PSC said. The average residential customer will see an increase of 6.12 percent on their monthly bill.
“With this order, the commission is underscoring the need for utility companies to invest in their infrastructure while we stabilize rates and avoid frequent large base rate increases,” said Charlotte Lane, chair of the PSC.
While the companies’ surcharge is a new concept, the commission has, at the direction of the West Virginia Legislature and on its own, approved similar surcharges to enable expedited cost recovery for natural gas and water utility companies, PSC officials said. The Legislature has authorized the commission to expedite cost recovery outside of base rate cases for certain expenses of electric utility companies.
The Consumer Advocate Division, the West Virginia Energy Users Group, the Kanawha County Commission and Steel of West Virginia were all granted intervenor status. APCo/WPCo have approximately 463,000 customers in 23 West Virginia Counties.
Additional information, including the Final Order, is available on the commission’s website: www.psc.state.wv.us by referencing Case No. 20-1012-E-P.