CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Appalachian Power, along with Wheeling Power, have filed requests for multiple programs to the Public Service Commission including an economic development fund that would raise rates slightly per month.
Jeri Matheney with Appalachian Power told MetroNews the filings took place in recent weeks. The company said the economic development fund is a flat meter charge to customers of 12 cents per month, that will be matched by company funds, used to generate funds for projects to diversify the economy and attract new business to the company’s West Virginia service territory.
The fund would include supporting economic development agencies, workforce training, and site development.
Matheney said bringing in businesses would help spread out fixed costs and keep costs down for all customers, which results in a win for West Virginia.
“Any time you can bring new economic activity to the state, new jobs new tax revenues, this helps the state as a whole,” she said. “It makes sense to do what we can to support the state.”
“It’s our job to help get the best possible future for the state.”
According to a release, the fund would generate approximately $670,000 annually and no change in rates would occur until the program is approved by the PSC.
Appalachian Power said it has recently introduced an incentive rate plan to help the state attract new business and grow existing businesses. Since 2012, the company has awarded almost $400,000 in economic development grants and contributed approximately $200,000 to economic development organizations.
Other filings made to the PSC include more energy efficiency incentive programs for multi-family homes and small businesses.
According to a release from Appalachian Power, the Low-Income Multi-Family Program will provide installation of measures such as energy efficient lighting, water heating measures, appliance upgrades, HVAC replacement and maintenance, and insulation.
The Small Business Direct Install Program included in the release will educate small business owners about energy efficiency and provide financial incentives to encourage additional energy efficiency improvements.
“We can help on single family homes, we can bring it to apartment buildings as well,” she said. “This helps to understand energy efficiency to people who live in apartment buildings and building owners and managers.”
The energy efficiency programs in West Virginia now include Home Energy Assessment, Residential Building Shell and HVAC Rebates, Online Home Energy Assessment, Residential LED Lighting Rebates, Residential Appliance Rebates, Low Income Weatherization, Appliance Recycling, Energy Star Manufactured Housing Rebates, Kill-A-Watt meter loans, Peak Reduction incentives, Commercial Lighting and HVAC rebates, and Commercial Kitchen rebates.
To learn more about the programs in West Virginia visit TakeChargeWV.com.
“Even if it is just simple things that they need in their homes, Matheney said. “Just identifying these things that people can do to improve the energy efficiency of their home helps them save money.”