ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ/Appalachian Power Release) – An increase in the cost of coal, natural gas and purchased electricity over the past year will increase the rate Virginia customers pay for electricity from the November, 1st.
Appalachian Power (AP), a utility subsidiary of American Electric Power, reports that it has described the effect of rising energy market prices and the steps it is taking to reduce customer costs in its annual Fuel Factor Update filed this week with the Virginia State Corporation Commission (CSC).
CSC reviews the company’s fuel factor every year to determine whether it should be raised or lowered, according to AP. Fuel costs are the portion of a customer’s bill used to recover the cost of purchasing natural gas and coal for its power plants, as well as the cost of purchased electricity. Appalachian Power reports that it does not derive revenue from fuel.
Energy costs began to climb in 2021. The rapid increase, according to the utility, was due to several factors, including the resurgence of the economy following the COVID-19 pandemic, inflation and the ongoing war in Ukraine.
Instead of recovering the cost increase over one year, the company asked the CSC for approval to spread the amount over a two-year period. For a typical residential customer using 1,000 kilowatt hours per month, this will increase the monthly bill by about $20, according to AP.
“We recognize that the financial situation is difficult for many individuals and families,” said Chris Beam, president and chief operating officer of Appalachian Power. “We strive every day to keep fuel costs as low as possible, continuously monitoring the energy markets for opportunities to purchase fuel and energy at favorable prices for customers.”
Customers who are having difficulty paying their monthly bills are encouraged to contact the company for assistance. Appalachian Power offers energy efficiency programs and payment options, including the Average Monthly Payment Plan (AMP), which helps customers avoid seasonal peaks in their monthly bills by spreading costs throughout the year .
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