CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Officials with Appalachian Power and Wheeling Power are proposing a double-digit rate increase for the company’s customers. On Monday, the companies — which are subsidiaries of American Electric Power — filed a request for a proposed base rate increase of 17 percent with the state Public Service Commission.

Those with Appalachian Power and Wheeling Power said the increase is needed to recover costs tied to system maintenance and upgrades along with major storm restoration efforts — including the derecho and Superstorm Sandy in 2012 — plus a new vegetation management program.

The filing came two years and one day after the derecho. “We’ve made several operational changes as a result of that and we have not sought to recover costs from that storm or from Superstorm Sandy yet,” Phil Moye, spokesperson for Appalachian Power, told MetroNews.

“Anytime that there are increased costs, it does put a burden on customers and we really try to balance keeping our costs as low as we can with being able to provide as reliable a service as we can.”

For Appalachian Power’s residential customers using 1,000 KWH each month, the proposed 17 percent increase would take their current monthly bill of $94 up to $115.77.

Those with the company said costs have been rising steadily for several years, while base rates have remained the same since 2011. Appalachian Power and Wheeling Power officials said they’ve cuts costs and made reductions to their workforce and implemented an efficiency program, but it has not been enough.

Members of the PSC will have to approve the request. If it’s approved, the increase would generate an additional $226 million each year for Appalachian Power and Wheeling Power. The higher rates could take effect as soon as next summer.

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  • richard

    can't afford what i pay now. and i don't want to pay for something that appalachian is delivering. my electric is off more times than i care to speak about. a little puff of wind and the electric goes out. and i mean out-----takes hours upon hours to get it back on. no sir, i don't care to pay more for something that is bad service already!!!

  • stophating

    I want PSC to be elected by the people.....then raises would only be granted in non election years instead of thrice annually......

  • Mason County Contrarian

    And here we thought that "Friends of Coal (Owners)" license plate was doing us some good. Fracked again!

  • Jim

    I hope that the people of WV will let the PSC know how they feel. This feels wrong in so many ways. The management gets their big bonus and the stock holders gets their big dividen checks, while the customers of AEP, get the shaft. There must be a middle ground where AEP can be profitable and the customers can afford to pay what is reasonable.

    • Rick S.

      According to MSN Money, the current dividend rate to AEP stockholders is $2.00 per share, or 3.61%. So, someone who owns $10,000 worth of stock will receive $361 in annual dividends. I would not exactly call that a big check.

  • Gary Karstens

    CEO's need a pay cut and government needs to issue more taxes.

  • sam

    congrats, just in time. state employees get a 504.00 a year raise and now the power company gets it. i hate w.v. government.

  • SafetyMan

    The major reason for these increases are the additional environmental upgrades that the power plants are going to have to make to meet EPA's requirements, and it's not just WV that is getting hit with these increases it's the whole country. So if you want to see a cheaper electric bill we as a country better wake up and look at who we are electing, granted there are some individuals within some of these companies who are making ridiculous salaries, but a lot this falls back to who we as a nation are putting into public office and what there agendas are.

    • firegoat

      AEP got the raise for the projected EPA carbon emissions, a few years ago.
      Now they want money for all the idle equipment that was sitting along I-79,
      after the storm.
      I am gonna get a raise every time I have
      maintenance on my house or car.
      The State gives them a raise every time the neglect their up-keep.

    • Jason412

      I'm not buying that. I know the new EPA regs will result in increased electricity rates, but it's not going to happen this quickly. The states have 2 years to even come up with a plan, and you think less than a month after the announcement we're seeing 17% increases and the power companies don't even mention that as one of the reasons for the increase?

      When the increases come as a result of the EPA regs, I'm sure the power companies wont be shy at all about blaming it on the regulations.

  • JTC

    Ask for a larger amount than you expect to get, PSC looks good when they say that they did not get the increase they ask for. Any time you are out of power they should deduct for your in convince and loss, at those rates they should have lineman out 24/7 clearing brush year round.

    • Marion

      1st COAL BARONS now GAS BARONS ! Our state produces an enormous amount of energy for the country. For what ?! Cost of living here is out of hand . I love it here but at what cost ?! Our children are being delt a stacked hand.

  • Dan

    The CEO needs a bigger bonus this year!

  • mook

    If they would do preventive maintanance in a timely manor instead cut, cut, budget for this. NO deal with when it happens says the BOSS! Now they want us to pay for the SCREW-UPS,while the bosses still get a bonus for a job well done! NOW go trim the trees with contract tree company while our guys get 40 and go home. SCREWED the help again. Good job boss!!

  • TJ

    Why don't they quit giving their employees a discount on their electric bill? If you worked for Apco you get a 10% decease on your bill. I don't think that has changed.

  • jfk

    PSC please show us that you are not in bed with them and "just say no"

  • Voter

    How about the CEO and management taking a pay cut.

    • Wowbagger

      Executive salaries and perks are a drop in the bucket when compared to the cost of several new combined cycle gas power plants to replace capacity retired to meet new EPA carbon emissions standards. But then the alternatives like modern gas cooled pebble bedded nukes or unproven carbon sequestration coal plants are far more expensive.

      Solar and wind can only make up about 20% and maintain power grid reliability, so these also aren't the answer without development of huge, dangerous storage batteries

  • TruthTeller

    This is ridiculous!!! WV is one of the most expensive places to live and pays the lowest
    in the country. What better way to destroy the state is by keep raising everything except wages. You people need to stop being cowards and wake up and be REAL AMERICANS and stand up against this greed!!!! WV produces coal which provides the resources to produce electricity. If anything, the cost of electricity should be lower in WV for that very reason.

    • Hillbilly

      See , this is one of the reasons I moved to Fla. No state income tax , our gas is consistently 25% lower than W.Va. You have let your Politicians screw you over for too long . The Dems. have ruined W.Va. Thank you very much .

      • Hillbilly

        Sorry , I meant that gas was $.25 a gallon cheaper , not 25% , my bad .

        • Mason County Contrarian

          Heck fire, man. You didn't have to go to Florida for cheap gas. It's at least 25 cents cheaper or more in some places in Nicholas County when compared to other counties.

          • Mason County Contrarian

            ......and the dadgum cockroaches are a foot long!

  • Plopaganda

    Is it any coincidence that "derecho" and "Obama" end and begin with the letter "o", respectively? I think not.

    • Mason County Contrarian

      What does our president have to do with this?

      Sun's coming up tomorrow. That Obama has gone and messed with the solar system!

      • Plopaganda

        It doesn't have anything to do with it. My comment was intended to be laden with sarcasm. I just wanted to get in there before the Fox News flock (who are in no way sheep, right?) began seriously making such comments.

        • Mason County Contrarian

          Sorry Plopoganda for the rush to respond to your post.

          Your intention was indeed truly honorable.

      • John

        Our idiot in the White House is directly responsible for this. You live under a rock? From day one of his administration he has been at war with energy. My power bill has tripled since he took office. And gas is cheaper in every county surrounding Nicholas County.

        • Mason County Contrarian

          I may not always agree with others, but I refuse to refer to anyone as an "idiot". John, I don't live under a rock anymore than you. I am aware that economic recovery for Big Coal is on a slippery slope at best, but that is the competitive free market at work. To say "his administration" has been at "war" with energy I don't believe is the case. Ask Big Gas.

          In our system of government it is impossible for the president to orchestrate economic events to quash a particular segment of the economy. The producer and consumer alone wields that power. I hope more understand that.

          In the meantime, we simply agree to disagree.

          • Mason County Contrarian

            No president, Republican or Democrat, can simply by a wave
            of a wand orchestrate deep economic changes.

            That is something even FDR could not do. It took a willing Congress, with reining by the SCOTUS.

            It seems fashionable to lay all problems at the feet of whomever seems to occupy the Oval Office, more so under Obama. Our problems run deeper than that and solutions far deeper than simplistic blame upon an individual.

            It will be interesting to see if that trend continues in the aftermath of 2016. I suspect it will happen, regardless of whichever political party carries the day.

          • John

            Before Barack's first term, he campaigned that he was going to put coal out of business. He's worked tirelessly through the EPA to accomplish that. Just ask any coal miner and they will tell you. "In our system of government it is impossible for the president to orchestrate economic events to quash a particular segment of the economy." You would think wouldn't you? I can't believe what this guy has gotten away with. A lot of the damage was done when his party controlled both the house and senate. The media backing and a spineless opposition has left him accountable to no one. There have been some recent court rulings that have gone against him. The "competitive free market" has nothing to do with coals problems. EPA forcing power plants to stop using the cheapest most efficient way to produce power has halted coal production and driven my power bill up 150%.