WHEELING, W.Va. (WTRF) — Appalachian Power and Wheeling Power’s proposal to bump up rates is facing major pushback.  

Many affected customers brought up concerns on the Expanded Net Energy Cost (ENEC) case during Wednesday night’s public hearing.

“I have been hearing from numerous senior citizens that they’re very much concerned about this high rate increase.”

Del. Lisa Zukoff, (D) West Virginia

“My constituents think this is not a time for a rate increase because of inflation and the other things we are facing.”

SEN. OWENS BROWN, (D) WEST VIRGINIA

The case also received around 170 letters in opposition to the requested ENEC rate increase.

Appalachian Power and Wheeling Power are asking for around $300 million. That’s an increase of about $13 a month, and according to the Public Service Commission Chairman Charlotte Lane, that’s high.

“This here is a lot larger than it’s been in the past. That’s why there’s been a lot of protests filed at the commission.” 

Charlotte Lane, Chairman of the West Virginia Public Service Commission

So, why are Appalachian Power and Wheeling Power asking for that much? 

“It’s for fuel cost recovery. So, we’re simply asking to receive cost recovery on what it cost AEP to purchase the fuel that it takes to make electricity.”  

Joelle Moray, External Affairs Manager with AEP

And Lane says the Appalachian Power is entitled by law to do so, which essentially will balance out fuel costs used by resources to make energy.  

But to be clear, Appalachian Power and Wheeling Power’s rate increase proposal comes down to the Public Service Commission. 

“We have the authority to deny it, modify it, or grant the whole increase.” 

Charlotte Lane, Chairman of the West Virginia Public Service Commission

While we wait for the commission’s final decision, an evidentiary hearing in Charleston will first take place August 2. 

Residents are encouraged to go to www.psc.state.wv.us for any comments or concerns.