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Appalachian Power seeking 17 percent rate hike

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It looks like another rate hike may be on the horizon for Appalachian Power Customers. The subsidy of American Electric Power has says that a 17-percent rate increase is need due AEP never fully recovering from the ‘Derecho’ storm or ‘Superstorm Sandy’ that hit the Mountain State in 2012. Although rates have remained the same since 2011, officials with Appalachian Power say the rate increase will be tied to system maintenance, upgrades and restoration efforts.

To offset rising costs and budget concerns, Appalachian Power also stated that a reduction to its workforce was made as well as the implementation of an efficiency program. Appalachian Power submitted an annual ‘Expanded Net Energy Cost file to the West Virginia Public Service Commission back in March of this year requesting a 4.4 percent rate increase in West Virginia for reimbursement of past on ongoing costs of fuel and purchased power. “This is a base rate case the Commission required us to file in which we present our costs of doing business,” said Charles Patton, Appalachian Power president and COO.

The PSC will determine if the rate increase will be approved or not and if necessary, can suspend rates for 270 days after July 30, 2014. Officials with AEP stated that the total costs associated with the 2012 storm damage were about $68 million. The rate hike would also fund a tree-trimming program that is expected to cost around $45 million a year. The announcement of AEP’s rate hike comes a few weeks after Mon Power and Potomac Edison requested a rate increase of around $103 million on June 13th. If approved, customers using around 1000 kWh per month will see their bills increase from $93 to $108 per month. Source: 58wchs

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