CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Mon Power and Potomac Edison have requested a $144 million rate increase from the state Public Service Commission. Hearings are still months away but already state Consumer Advocate Jackie Roberts said she’s “concerned” about the amount of money involved in this case.
“If the commission allows the rate relief that’s requested, it will be a burden, a significant additional burden on our residential customers,” stressed Roberts. “We’re concerned about that.”
The rate increase would increase an average customer’s bill by about $14 per month. Roberts said it doesn’t sound like much but it adds up.
The consumer advocate said this is not your typical rate increase request. Mon Power and Potomac Edison are asking for an increase in their base rate, recovering costs from the 2012 derecho and SuperStorm Sandy and depreciation. Roberts admitted it’s not an easy equation.
“These cases are always complicated. Even if they look simple, they’re complicated,” explained Roberts.
However, Todd Meyers with Mon Power said even with the full rate increase their customers would be paying 10 percent below the national average for electricity.
Roberts stressed a 10 percent hike in someone’s bill, below average or not, is a lot of money.
“I think that it’s fair to say under any circumstances an almost 14 percent increase in rates is significant!”
The power companies would like to have the increase approved by the PSC by February of 2015. Roberts said hearings required by the PSC may not get underway until after the first of next year.