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Virginia regulators approve bill increase for Appalachian Power’s fuel costs

The State Corporation Commission regulates Virginia electric utilities. (Image: Ned Oliver/ Virginia Mercury)
The State Corporation Commission regulates Virginia electric utilities. (Image: Ned Oliver/ Virginia Mercury)

 

The State Corporation Commission, which oversees the state’s public investor-owned utilities, approved the increase following the request from the utility in the fall, which initially sought a bill increase of $33.24 per customer before the company volunteered a mitigation plan.

The approved increase had been in effect on a temporary basis since Nov. 1. The Commission previously approved a fuel-factor increase of $14.93 in September for Dominion and is also reviewing bill increases for natural gas customers amid rising supply costs.

The commission noted inflationary pressures in issuing its final order, but added “We are deeply concerned about the significant rate increase requested in this case, and its impact on customer bills.

“The impact of the increase is worsened by its introduction during the winter months, which are typically higher usage months, and by other recent APCo rate increases.”

With the mitigation plan, which calls for recovery of the increased fuel cost over a two-year period starting Nov. 1, 2022 instead of a one-year period, the bill increases allow the company to recover $279 million for its fuel factor – or costs for fuel to generate electricity.

“When the company made its annual fuel factor filing last year we asked that the fuel cost be spread over two years knowing the increase would be difficult for many people and customers,” Teresa Hall, a spokesperson for Appalachian Power said by email Monday. “We are extremely pleased that this request received approval.”

The Monday fuel factor approval, and the mitigation plan, came with the support of the Office of the Attorney General.

This story was reported and written by our media partner The Virginia Mercury. Read more here.

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