CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The West Virginia Public Service Commission has approved a base rate settlement agreement with Appalachian Power and Wheeling Power that includes $44 million total in rate hikes.

Under it, residential power customers will see a net base rate increase of 4 percent or an estimated $4.47 more per month.

Read the order HERE.

The increase amount is not as high as what the companies originally proposed.

In May 2018, Appalachian Power and Wheeling Power had requested base rate increases that totaled upwards of $114 million.

In general, the first proposal would have raised rates for 11.13 percent for residential customers, 11.51 percent for commercial customers and 1.06 percent for industrial customers.

This negotiated agreement covers 467,295 customers in the following West Virginia counties:

Boone, Brooke, Cabell, Clay, Fayette, Greenbrier, Jackson, Kanawha, Lincoln, Logan, Marshall, McDowell, Mercer, Mingo, Monroe, Nicholas, Ohio, Putnam, Raleigh, Roane, Summers, Wayne and Wyoming.

Interveners in the rate case included SWVA, Walmart, Kroger, the City of Charleston and the Kanawha County and Cities Association.

As part of the settlement agreement, Appalachian Power and Wheeling Power have said they won’t initiate another base rate increase before Apr. 1, 2020 “unless unforeseen events occur that would cause extreme economic hardship to the Companies or would threaten the Companies’ financial integrity or its ability to meets its public service obligations in the absence of base rate relief.”

The power rate increases take effect in March.

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