Appalachian Power External Affairs Manager Joelle Moray released this statement today:
CHARLESTON, W.Va. – Appalachian Power, along with Wheeling Power submitted Expanded Net Energy Cost (ENEC) and Vegetation Management Program (VMP) filings to the Public Service Commission of West Virginia (PSC). The company is requesting an increase of $73 million in the amount collected for ENEC, and a continuation of the current VMP rates, to take effect Sept. 1.
The ENEC reimburses the company on a dollar-for-dollar basis for coal and natural gas to fuel power plants and for purchased power. The VMP reimburses the company for right-of-way vegetation management. Filings for these essential components of generating and delivering electricity are made regularly to ensure the amount included in rates accurately reflects past and ongoing expenditures.
“The ENEC amount is mostly for dollars already spent but not recovered in last year’s case when the financial impacts of the pandemic on our customers were most severe,” said Chris Beam, Appalachian Power president and COO. “The pandemic has been difficult, and that’s why we suspended disconnects for non-payment for most of 2020 and made it easier to get payment arrangements.” Beam added that the company also administered $12.7 million of Fresh Start tax savings toward erasing the debt of residential customers with past due amounts of more than 90 days and credited $7.4 million received from the State of West Virginia CARES program to eligible residential customers.
Beam said the company will continue to seek ways to help customers struggling financially from the pandemic. At the same time, the ENEC and VMP amounts included in rates ultimately need to reflect actual costs.
The company this week also requested a $5 million increase in rates to recover the approved cost of its energy efficiency and demand response programs, to take effect January 2022.
If approved as proposed, residential customer rates would rise approximately 6 percent, a monthly increase of $8.10 for a customer using 1,000 kilowatt-hours or $16.20 for a customer using 2,000 kilowatt-hours.
Appalachian Power has 1 million customers in Virginia, West Virginia and Tennessee (as AEP Appalachian Power). It is part of American Electric Power, which is focused on building a smarter energy infrastructure and delivering new technologies and custom energy solutions. AEP’s approximately 17,400 employees operate and maintain the nation’s largest electricity transmission system and more than 221,000 miles of distribution lines to efficiently deliver safe, reliable power to nearly 5.4 million customers in 11 states. AEP is also one of the nation’s largest electricity producers with approximately 31,000 megawatts of diverse generating capacity, including 5,200 megawatts of renewable energy.