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Due to rate hikes from Appalachian Power, bills have increased by 35% since 2021



Roanoke, Virginia – On March 31, Appalachian Power (APCo) submitted a proposal for an additional rate hike, which may result in higher monthly bills for its consumers.

The frequency of APCo’s rate review submissions was modified by the Virginia General Assembly from every three years to every two years. A portion of APCo’s biennial assessment includes the most current pricing proposal.

Monthly APCo bills under the idea would raise revenue by almost $95 million, or 5.1%. As a result, consumers consuming 1,000 kWh would see a monthly rise of $10.

This occurs only a few months after APCo’s triennial rate proposal, which raised prices by around $16 per 1,000 kWh, was approved by the State Corporation Commission.

Appalachian Power has made 10 requests to alter base, transmission, and fuel rates in the past four years. In the end, seven ideas resulted in higher electricity bills for consumers.

A 9.5% profit is permitted for Appalachian Power. If APCo is permitted to make a profit of 10.8% on its most recent request, the State Corporation Commission will make the final decision. The State Corporation Commission states that clients may be eligible for refunds if it is determined that the business made an excessive profit.

Samuel Towell and Kelsey Bagot, two recent State Corporation Commissioners, will sit on the panel that will hear the first APCo rate case.

Since 2021, APCo’s monthly bills have gone up by 35%. Three years ago, a client utilizing 1,000 kWh may have paid $117.09 per month. The same quantity of energy will cost $171.99 in April 2024.

The corporation has raised the fuel rate twice, the transmission rate three times, and the base rate twice since 2020. An Appalachian Power spokesman was questioned by WDBJ7 about the reason behind the company’s request for more money. An email answer was sent to us.

“Customers depend on us to provide the energy they need. The increases are necessary to ensure the company can continue providing safe and reliable service to meet the needs of customers,” a spokesperson said. “We recognize this review comes at a time when costs for products and services are increasing including electric bills. We work hard every day to manage costs and ease the burden on customers.”

Regarding the proposed rate hike, APCo did not provide anyone for an on-camera interview.

According to APCo, if the biannual rate hikes are authorized, the additional amount that customers pay on their bills will be used to pay for the production and distribution of power as well as the expense of APCo’s tree-clearing operations in its right-of-way.

The electric company added that further factors contributing to the rate hikes were growing labor and material expenses, increased capital expenditures, higher interest rates, and the payback of investments made in the business’s distribution infrastructure and generating plants.

The most recent biannual rate increase has no deadline, according to the State Corporation Commission, but according to APCo’s proposal, the customer increase will take effect in January 2025.

Appalachian Power reportedly provides free energy assessment services to reduce customers’ energy bills and usage.

A future Target 7 inquiry will examine the efficacy of those evaluations and whether they affect your bill in light of the recent rate hikes.

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