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PSC To Consider Appalachian Power Rate Increase Next Week

Amos Plant
Curtis Tate
West Virginia Public Broadcasting
The John Amos power plant in Putnam County, West Virginia, was saved from near-term closure by the state Public Service Commission.

The West Virginia Public Service Commission will hold an evidentiary hearing on Appalachian Power’s $297 million rate request next week, on Aug. 2.

The hearing will follow public testimony in Wheeling, Huntington, Princeton and Charleston. The last public comment hearing will take place today, at 5:30 p.m. at the PSC headquarters, at 201 Brooks Street in Charleston.

Appalachian Power has asked the commissioners for the increase, effective Sept. 1, to offset the rising cost of coal, natural gas and purchased power.

If approved, the change would add $18 a month to the average residential user’s bill.

The proposal has generated a strong backlash from ratepayers and local governments.

The city of Bluefield is the latest local government to formally state its opposition to the request.

Rising energy costs have been one of the biggest drivers of inflation over the past year. In May, the PSC approved Mon Power and Potomac Power’s request to raise rates in West Virginia by $94 million. That added about $9 a month to the average residential user’s bill.

The PSC has approved other Appalachian Power rate requests in recent years.

Appalachian Power is an underwriter of West Virginia Public Broadcasting.

Energy & Environment Reporter, ctate@wvpublic.org, 202-679-8470, @tatecurtis

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