Appalachian Power speaks on possible rate increase - WVVA TV Bluefield Beckley WV News, Weather and Sports

Appalachian Power speaks on possible rate increase

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Appalachian Power customers might see rate increases in March of 2019. The utility company released a statement yesterday that usage has fallen dramatically, requesting a 7.85% rate increase from the Public Service Commission. 

"This will only affect West Virginia customers," says Jeri Matheney, Appalachian Power spokesperson. "The Public Service Commission has 300 days before it has to render a decision."

If the proposed rate increase is approved, Jeri says it will affect each customers bill, differently. 

"A residential customer that uses about 1,000 kilowatts in a month will see their bill go up about 19 dollars."

But not every customer is happy to hear news that their bills will be increasing. 

Angela Gibbs and her boyfriend live in West Virginia. She does freelance jobs and was surprised to learn her bills might increase.

"I think it's kind of crazy," Angela says. "Me and my boyfriend don't have enough money to go around. Our bills are like hundreds and if it raises, we're not going to be able to afford a lot. We're on a strict budget."

Angela understands why the company might need to raise the rates but doesn't feel it's fair to customers. 

"For some people, they can't afford that power bill. What are they going to do when it raises?"

Appalachian Power wants customers to know the rate increase will improve their services in the long run. 

"We look at our costs all the time and avoid filing for a rate increase as much as we can," Jerri said. "We try to keep rates as stable as possible. But the number one thing our customers expect is reliable power."

But some customers just want to survive. 

"I don't think it should happen," said Angela. " It's a lot of poor people out there and they can't afford it."

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