Appalachian Power rates could go down next week

CHARLESTON, W.Va. --  After a hearing scheduled today, customers of Appalachian Power and Wheeling Power may see their rates go down next week.Appalachian Power and Wheeling Power -- both subsidiaries of American Electric Power -- agreed to the settlement with the state Public Service Commission, the PSC's Consumer Advocate Division and "multiple industrial consumers," according to a news release from Appalachian Power.The agreement would reduce electricity rates by about 3 percent. For a customer who uses 1,000 kilowatt-hours a month, the bill would go from $96.76 to $93.83.The PSC set a hearing on the agreement for today; if the commission approves the settlement, the new rates would go into effect on Sunday<co sept 1>.The settlement reflects changing cost in generating power. The Expanded Net Energy Cost formula is designed to reimburse energy companies for past and ongoing fuel costs, as well as purchased power, according to the news release. The reimbursement of overall costs is then passed along to consumers.
"Any time a customer can get a rate decrease that's a good thing," said Byron Harris, director of the PSC's Consumer Advocate Division.In April, Appalachian Power and Wheeling Power asked the PSC not to change their overall power rates. Harris said at the time that power companies should reduce their rates."The PSC Staff, Consumer Advocate Division and others in this case have worked hard to reach an agreement that puts the interests of customers first and foremost," Charles Patton, Appalachian Power's president and chief operating officer, said in the news release.Reach Caitlin Cook at or 304-348-5113. 
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