CHARLESTON, WV (LOOTPRESS) – Appalachian Power, along with Wheeling Power, today submitted a proposal to the Public Service Commission of West Virginia (PSC) to implement a surcharge mechanism for recovering costs associated with infrastructure investments made between base rate cases.
The aim of the proposal is to provide timely recovery of costs associated with incremental investments not recovered through current rates, and to decrease the magnitude and frequency of base rate case filings. The recovery mechanism, called an infrastructure tracker, is similar in concept to mechanisms already in place for other regulated utilities in the state.
“The infrastructure tracker is designed to smooth out customer rates by seeking capital investment recovery annually,” said Chris Beam, Appalachian Power president and COO. “For customers, that helps us avoid the large jumps in rates that can happen when costs build up over time.”
The proposal calls for capping the amount of any annual increase through the tracker to a percentage of the companies’ total retail revenue, subjecting the tracker to an annual true up for over or under recovery, and resetting the recovery mechanism to zero when new rates from a base rate filing become effective.
The initial filing seeks an increase of $49.8 million, which represents recovery of costs associated with infrastructure investments made over a nearly three-year period since the companies’ last base rate case filing in 2018. If approved as proposed, residential customer rates would rise approximately 3.5 percent effective June 1, 2021, a monthly increase of $4.94 for a customer using 1,000 kilowatt-hours or $8.86 for a customer using 2,000 kilowatt-hours.
Appalachian Power has 1 million customers in Virginia, West Virginia and Tennessee (as AEP Appalachian Power). It is part of American Electric Power, which is focused on building a smarter energy infrastructure and delivering new technologies and custom energy solutions. AEP’s approximately 17,400 employees operate and maintain the nation’s largest electricity transmission system and more than 221,000 miles of distribution lines to efficiently deliver safe, reliable power to nearly 5.4 million customers in 11 states. AEP is also one of the nation’s largest electricity producers with approximately 31,000 megawatts of diverse generating capacity, including 5,200 megawatts of renewable energy.