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Appalachian Power Customers Could See Another Rate Increase

Utility regulators in Virginia and Kentucky recently rejected a rate hike to pay for environmental improvements at three West Virginia coal-fired power plants, leaving the state’s residents with the possibility of a higher rate hike.

Appalachian Power and Wheeling Power want West Virginia’s Public Service Commission to approve a $48 million rate hike to install pollution control gear at power plants in Putnam, Mason and Marshall counties.

After regulators in nearby Kentucky and Virginia, which get electricity from the plants, rejected paying for the improvements, the plant operators are now seeking a rate hike for West Virginians that more than doubles the previously approved rate. The move would keep the aging plants in operation until 2040 instead of closing in 2028.

The companies are asking for a 3.3% rate increase, up from the 1.62% that was approved by the PSC in August. The total comes out to be a little more than $50 a year for an average home customer.

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