Appalachian Power, Wheeling Power File Fuel Costs with West Virginia PSC

Appalachian Power (AP), along with Wheeling Power (WP), submitted (Docket 16-0239-E-ENEC) an annual Expanded Net Energy Cost (ENEC) filing on March 1 to the West Virginia Public Service Commission (PSC) for reimbursement of past and ongoing costs of fuel (primarily, coal) and purchased power.

An ENEC proceeding is sometimes referred to as a “fuel review” rate proceeding because the historical purpose of an ENEC case is for an electric utility to request rate adjustments that allow it to recover or flow back to ratepayers the difference between those costs as allowed in rates and the utility’s costs of obtaining fuel and fuel-related purchased power that the utility uses to produce electricity and provide electric service to customers.

Both Appalachian Power and Wheeling Power are subsidiaries of American Electric Power. AP serves about 1 million customers in West Virginia, Virginia and Tennessee. WP serves the northern panhandle of West Virginia, including Wheeling, which has a population of about 31,400.

The companies are requesting a $61.5 million increase in the ENEC to account for the difference between the amount currently being collected and projected expenditures through the next annual filing period. For a residential customer using 1,000 kilowatt-hours (kWh) per month, the request brings the monthly bill to $98.24 from $94.40 – up 4 percent or $3.84..

If approved, new rates including the ENEC are expected to go into effect July 1. However, a Petition to Intervene already has been filed by the Consumer Advocate Division of the PSC., which stated, “The companies’ 2016 Expanded Net Energy Cost filing constitutes a proceeding with potential for adverse effects on residential consumers.”

The company also has a request pending before the PSC for an increase in its base rates. A decision in that case is expected by May 26.

AP said that its total proposed rate remains well below the national average residential price for electricity of $125.30 for 1,000 kWh.

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