Appalachian Power proposing rate increase for 2021

Despite current economic situation, law dictates this must be submitted on March 31

ROANOKE, Va. – Appalachian Power is submitting a rate increase that would go into effect in 2021.

Currently, the rates customers pay were set in 2011.

“We’re aware that we are filing this application at an unprecedented time in our history,” said Appalachian Power President and COO Chris Beam, in reference to the coronavirus pandemic. “We are required by law to make this filing now. We must follow that law, while balancing our customers’ expectations of safe and reliable service. We will work with the SCC and all interested parties as this application is considered during these uncertain times.”

Now that the rate case has been presented to the State Corporation Commission, the commission is required to rule on it by November 30. If it grants the rate increase, it would not go into effect until 2021.

The proposed increase will vary depending on customer class and usage, according to Appalachian Power.

If approved as requested, residential customers using 1,000 kilowatt hours (kWh) a month - whose current monthly bills are virtually the same as they were in 2010 - will see an approximate $10 increase in their monthly bill.

Appalachian Power said that even if this proposed rate increase is approved and goes into effect, the company’s Virginia rates would remain well below the national average.

To address the concern customers have around bills during the winter months, the company is proposing to implement a rate discount effective December through February each year. With the new seasonal rate structure, customers with higher winter usage, such as those with electric heat, may see little or no increase, or even a decrease in their annual bills.

Appalachian Power reports that 66 percent of its low-income customers heat with electricity.

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