SCC lowers APCo rate increase

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The Virginia State Corporation Commission said Thursday that Appalachian Power Co.’s base rates should be increased approximately $61.5 million, less than half of the $154 million the utility had requested.

The new base rates will take place on Aug. 1, and a fuel reduction rate will also be put in place that will be reflected in later bills. That means that an average customer using 1,000 kilowatt-hours a month will see their average monthly bill fall $2.54 to $101.03 when considering the fuel rate reduction.

This is based on an average increase of $4.25 in base rates each month and an average decrease of $6.79 in fuel rates each month.

The company said in a statement that “The increase addresses some of the growing expenses in the company’s day-to-day operations, but stops short of restoring it to financial stability.”

Appalachian Power collected interim rates based on its initial $154 million request from Dec. 12 until Feb. 24. Emergency legislation during the General Assembly stopped the utility from collecting the interim rate.

The SCC ruled that 10.53 percent is a fair return on equity for APCo. The company had sought a return of 12.5 percent and a performance adder of 0.85 percent, which the commission did not approve.

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