Appalachian Power files to increase customers’ electric bills by around $14 a month

CHARLESTON, WV (WOAY) – Appalachian Power and Wheeling Power has filed with the Public Service Commission to increase residential customers’ electric bills.

Appalachian Power, along with Wheeling Power, submitted Expanded Net Energy Cost (ENEC) and Vegetation Management Program (VMP) filings to the Public Service Commission of West Virginia (PSC) and outlined a proposal to partially offset the proposed ENEC and VMP increases using federal tax reform savings.

The ENEC reimburses the company on a dollar-for-dollar basis for coal and natural gas to fuel power plants and for purchased power. The VMP reimburses the company for right-of-way vegetation management.

The company is proposing to increase ENEC rates by $82 million and VMP rates by $70 million. These increases are needed to allow the company to recover ongoing ENEC and VMP costs as well as approximately $90 million of unrecovered ENEC and VMP costs already incurred through the end of 2019. As a way to moderate the increase, the company proposes to use the remaining tax reform balance of $52 million from the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, which would result in a net rate increase of $100 million. The last increase in rates associated with ENEC and VMP costs came in July 2016.

“Over time costs have risen, and these filings seek to address that reality so that the amount being collected in customer rates matches the amount of costs that the company is incurring for fuel, purchased power and vegetation management costs,” said Chris Beam, Appalachian Power president and COO.

If the filings are approved by the PSC, a residential customer using 1,000 kilowatt-hours per month will see an increase of $13.88 or 10.9 percent.

Appalachian Power has 1 million customers in Virginia, West Virginia and Tennessee (as AEP Appalachian Power). It is part of American Electric Power, which is focused on building a smarter energy infrastructure and delivering new technologies and custom energy solutions. AEP’s more than 18,000 employees operate and maintain the nation’s largest electricity transmission system and more than 219,000 miles of distribution lines to efficiently deliver safe, reliable power to nearly 5.4 million customers in 11 states. AEP is also one of the nation’s largest electricity producers with approximately 32,000 megawatts of diverse generating capacity, including 5,300 megawatts of renewable energy.

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