Here we go again.....
Virginia regulators are hearing testimony on a proposed rate increase for Appalachian Power customers.
The State Corporation Commission on Tuesday began an evidentiary hearing in Richmond to discuss the company’s request for an about 12.5 percent base rate increase. The hearing is expected to continue until at least Friday.
Appalachian Power is asking the commission for the increase based on rising costs of providing service to its customers. But company officials did acknowledge the hardships faced by its customers in parts of the state particularly hurt by high unemployment and higher-than-expected winter heating costs.
Lawmakers passed a bill last month suspending the interim rate increase following complaints.
The commission is set to rule on the rate increase by July 15.LINK
There is legislation that guarantees power companies a profit. Alton writes-
"...the law as it stands now ties the hands of the only entity in the state with the power to regulate monopolistic utilities, the Sate Corporation Commission (SCC). Under the present law our state essentially guarantees AEP a certain profit, with no means available to factor in bad management practices if they exist. This must be changed.
Another portion of the bill that must change allows utilities such as AEP to begin charging customers a higher rate before the SCC has ruled. If, and as I pointed out, the SCC is even able to deny the requested rate increase, AEP is required to reimburse its customers for the denied, though still collected, rate increase. Since there is no provision to audit AEP in this area of business practice, no one knows for certain if the full amount has been refunded or credited. This must be changed."
We must change this. I do not believe any company should be guaranteed a profit by the state. All the company has to do is show they are below the guaranteed profit and the increase is needed....The SCC's hands are tied.
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