OHIO COUNTY, W.Va. (WTRF) – On Wednesday we told you about a rate increase proposal from Appalachian Power and Wheeling Power. Naturally, customers aren’t happy to hear that their bills could increase by an average of $18 per month.

On Thursday, a group called West Virginians for Energy Freedom held a meeting at the Ohio County Public Library to teach the public some ways to cope with the higher costs.

They discussed a few things that residents could do, including how to lower their total energy consumption, as well as how to produce your own energy using solar panels.

“We have already seen residential rates go up 160% in the last 15 years here in West Virginia for AEP customers….it seems to just continue to go up. And so this is a way for us to take control of our own energy bills and have a say in that ourselves.”

Emmett Pepper, Policy Director for Energy Efficient West Virginia

Pepper notes that in West Virginia, residents can get credits if they have solar panels on their homes for the energy they’re not using. He also recommends to begin by making sure your home or business is properly sealed and insulated as a way to save power.

Stay with 7NEWS for updates on the proposed rate increase.