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.

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  • Kitty

    If you have time to put a comment on this story, you have time to file one at the PSC. It's simple... just follow the instructions here:

  • Kitty

    It will only happen if Y-O-U allow it to happen. Support your Consumer Advocate and help her fight for you! Get involved, submit a comment to the PSC and contact your legislator!

  • NCWV

    If I'm not mistaken, isn't the median household income in WV 10% or more below the national average? It seems cheaper energy should be a goal, not bring our cost up to the national average that's unaffordable for more and more West Virginians.

  • ViennaGuy

    Todd Meyers' comment that rates will still be 10% below the national average even with the rate hike comes off as being pathetic, even thin-skinned. That's like telling someone who's very sick to "cheer up - it could be worse, you could be dead!"

    I'm not necessarily opposed to paying a little more when it comes to right-of-way maintenance, but there is no reason why ratepayers should be forced to pick up the tab for FirstEnergy forcing Monongahela to buy the 80% of Harrison Power Station that Monongahela didn't already own.

  • LMF

    Hey Todd Myers why don't you write a check for $144 million I am sure it won't hurt your bank account, maybe they should get rid of you, all you do is lie, we where told if you bought the 80% of Harrison power station it won't effect customers rates, well it looks like we are paying for it so you know what the customers should own the plant not Mon power, and you our in the electric buisness shouldn't be our responsibility, to pay for you tree trimming program, use your brain instead of sitting on it all day why the working middle class work hard all week long and go week to week on pay trying to make ends meet.

  • JMB

    $14 a month IS very significant. That's $168 a year (according to their averages) For those of us that work and pay our bill and all those subsidized bills that is a huge amount. Waste of time to complain though. It'll go through and the middle class gets closer to poverty