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$1.80 fee approved for Appalachian Power customers in Va.

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State regulators have approved a service fee of $1.80 a month for most customers of Appalachian Power Co. in western Virginia.

The Roanoke Times reported Wednesday that the fee will be used to protect lower-income customers from the increased costs of switching to renewable energy.

Virginia’s Clean Economy Act requires Appalachian Power and Dominion Energy to use carbon-free sources by 2050.

The law acknowledges that the change could lead to higher bills.

So, it created the Percentage of Income Payment Program. The program requires Appalachian and Dominion to cap the bills of their low-income customers. There are 500,000-some Appalachian customers in the western part of the state.