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Customers concerned about possible power rate hike

Updated: Wednesday, July 2 2014, 06:27 PM EDT


Appalachian Power and Wheeling Power, both subsidiaries of American Electric Power, have filed a request with the Public Service Commission of West Virginia for a $226 million revenue increase.

If approved, the request would raise rates in West Virginia by approximately 17 percent.

Rocky Krivenko, of Wheeling, said he believes it's corporate greed and many people he knows won't be able to afford another increase.

"When bills go up it makes it hard on everyone," said Krivenko. "People are on fixed incomes and other bills and the price of food are going up too."

Carmen Prati-Miller, a spokesperson for American Electric Power, said the requested increase includes costs for major storm restoration efforts and a new vegetation management program.

"The company is seeking recovery of restoration costs from the two major storms that struck West Virginia in 2012, the Derecho on June 29 and Superstorm Sandy on Oct. 29," said Prati-Miller. "The company proposes to spread those costs over a five-year period to reduce the impact on rates."

The filing also includes costs for the recently approved cycle-trimming vegetation management program.

"This will reduce power restoration times and minimize some restoration and ongoing maintenance costs," said Prati-Miller.

If approved, the typical residential customers will see an increase in their electric bills of less than a dollar a day.

Residential customers who use 1,000 kilowatt-hours a month will see their monthly bill rise from $94 to $116.

Rates will not be put into effect until approved by the commission, which can suspend rates for 270 days after July 30, 2014. AEP hasn't increased rates since 2011.

Customers concerned about possible power rate hike

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