AEP Rate Increases – September 18, 2008
Once again, Appalachian Power Company is asking for a rate increase. Once again, it is being asked for during the fall and winter months when heating and lighting a home is more costly than in other seasons. After saying this, I do not deny that we have a power company whose rates are lower than many across the nation and they need to make a profit, like any other business. However, I don’t feel like the people in my legislative district can stand a major increase.
If you have read the State Corporation Commission release, you know that it states that APCo’s fuel rate has increased from 1.418 cents per kilowatt-hour (c/kWh) to 2.255 c/kWh. What you need to know is that Congress voted to allow the 11% increase in the fuel rate to produce power because of the increased cost of coal. That will be on your September bill.
Last year, Appalachian Power asked for a 23% increase. Thanks to the power of the people, they received the more reasonable increase of 3%. Once again, they have filed for the 23% increase for October. The SCC will hold a public hearing for this increase on October 29.
In addition, Congress has already given Appalachian Power a 2% increase in their Environmental and Reliability Costs (E&R) which will be added in January. Although the SCC has no control over the 11% or the 2% straight pass-through rates, you still need to write them about the 23% increase.
Once again, I am calling on citizens to speak up. I have joined with Delegate Bill Carrico who has designed a website – www.aepaction.org – for citizens to send an online form letter. You can also send comments on the SCC website at www.scc.virginia.gov/case/PublicComments.aspx. For those wishing to send a standard letter through the mail, I will list the address below. The case number for the base rate increase is PUE-2008-00046. I, too, will communicate our concerns. Also included below is a sample letter from Delegate Carrico’s website which you may use or change to personalize your thoughts.
Thank you for being concerned and caring citizens. It is an honor to represent you.
SCC Mailing Address:
SCC Document Control Center
P.O. Box 2118
Richmond, VA 23218
I, the undersigned, respectfully request that the State Corporation Commission act promptly after hearing Appalachian Power Company’s 23.9% base rate increase proposal (PUE-2008-00046) and render a reasonable verdict as soon as possible. While I recognize the need for periodic adjustments, the proposed increase in beyond reasonable, and is unaffordable for many of the families in Southwest Virginia. Therefore, I strongly urge you to significantly reduce any increase approved to a more reasonable and customer friendly rate. Finally, I would ask that you render a verdict as soon as possible to avoid subjecting Southwest Virginians to the unpopular and excessive interim rates.
For those of you who consider the rate increase to be excessive or burdensome, I encourage you to make your concerns known.