Kanawha County Commission voicing opposition to power company’s rate increase request

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The Kanawha County Commission is voicing opposition on Appalachian Power’s rate increase request.

On December 14, Appalachian Power Company asked the Public Service Commission of West Virginia to approve a rate increase, in the form of a surcharge on customers’ bills, to begin June 1.

According to a release by the Kanawha County Commission, this surcharge would result in an increase of 3.6%, or $5 to $9 a month, for most residential customers.

The commission announced Tuesday it has filed with the Public Service Commission a Petition to Intervene in this case.

“Appalachian Power Company is in the wrong to request an increase during the COVID-19 pandemic – when so many in West Virginia are already struggling to pay their utility bills. I 100% oppose this rate increase and believe the Appalachian Power should withdraw it immediately,” Commission President W. Kent Carper stated in a release.

Commissioner Ben Salango noted, “The people of Kanawha County are struggling. Businesses continue to close and employees are being let go. Now is not the time to increase electric bills for residents and business owners. We plan to fight this rate increase on behalf of all Kanawha County residents.”

Commissioner Lance Wheeler added, “I believe Appalachian Power Company should reconsider its timing and delay this request until the public health crisis is well behind us.”