CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) — As people are still struggling to pay their utility bills during the pandemic and now that the CARES Act Utility Assistance money is finished, there may be some rough news to utility customers.
Appalachian Power which serves most of southwestern, West Virginia has recently proposed a rate increase for customers.
“An annual review and an annual recovery of that cost which would make it smoother and smaller increases over time,” said Phil Moye with Appalachian Power.
This surcharge would result in a 3.6% increase, meaning you would be paying five to nine dollars more each month.
The money would go to improvements for things such as quick power recovery after outages. But the commission did not like this idea.
“Now the power company in the middle of the worst crisis in 100 years wants to add a new tax hike on your electric bill. I think it is wrong and I am going to fight it,” said Kanawha County Commission President, Kent Carper.
The Kanawha County Commission has fe=iled a petition to intervene with the public service commission. But Appaliain Power has said any result of this proposal would not take effect until summer 2021.
“It is a difficult time for everyone, and of course why we are filing it now is because these infrastructure costs have been building up for the past three years,” said Moye.
A Mingo County resident who is in need of government utility bill assistance and has cut already been warned of cut-offs could be seriously hurt by this extra charge.
“I had asked for help, and you know these foundations that are wonderful and are obviously helped so many people that they are out of funds,” said Etta Kiser of Mingo County.