RICHMOND, Va. – Appalachian Power has submitted its triennial rate review application to the Virginia State Corporation Commission, asking to increase rates by about $212 million or 16%.
If the application is approved, you could see an increase in your energy bill, starting January 2024.
AEP says the proposed increase is based on customer class and usage. Here’s a look at the changes you could see should the application be approved:
- If you use 1,000 kilowatt hours (kWh) a month, you could see a net increase in your monthly bill of approximately $20
- If you use 2,000 kWh, you could see your bill increase by approximately $40
The factors that led AEP to request to modify rates include “increased capital, depreciation and material and labor costs related to the company’s distribution operations and vegetation management,” according to the company.
“Trees and other vegetation are consistently the leading cause of outages,” said Aaron Walker, Appalachian Power president and chief operating officer. “We have an obligation to ensure our customers have access to safe and reliable service. Substantial tree removal, pruning, and brush clearing are needed to prevent and reduce outages across the system.”
“We understand this request comes at a time when other costs are increasing for customers,” said Walker. “We have included a proposal to reduce the financial impact on our lower-income customers and will work with the SCC and others to help balance competing interests to the greatest extent possible.”
In a press release the company stated that “To reduce the impact on lower-income customers, the company has requested approval to eliminate the basic service charge for qualifying low-income customers. Appalachian Power serves about 540,000 customers in southwest, central and southside Virginia. Under the proposal about seven percent of its residential customers would qualify for the discount, which would amount to savings just under $100 a year.”