Public Hearing On AEP Rate Increase To BE Held Today

A public hearing about American Electric Power’s proposed 13.8 percent rate hike is scheduled to be held at 6:30 p.m. today in Wheeling.

According to the West Virginia Public Service Commission website, the hearing will be held in City Council’s chamber, located on the second floor of the City-County Building, 1500 Chapline St., Wheeling.

In a news release, AARP West Virginia encourages residents to attend the Wheeling hearing or three other upcoming hearings in the state to “speak out against another proposed rate hike by Appalachian Power and Wheeling Power, which will adversely impact 440,000 residential electric utility customers in 24 West Virginia counties.”

AEP applied for the increase May 14.

Other hearings include: 6:30 p.m. Tuesday at the Beckley-Raleigh County Courthouse, 215 Main St., Beckley; 6:30 p.m. Monday at the Cabell County Courthouse, 750 Fifth Ave., County Commission Courtroom, Huntington; 6:30 p.m. Nov. 16 at the PSC office, 201 Brooks St., Howard M. Cunningham Hearing Room, Charleston.

”Less than six months after being granted a $96 million (7.6 percent) rate increase by state regulators, Appalachian Power and Wheeling Power are seeking another $155 million from West Virginia consumers,” said Gaylene Miller, AARP West Virginia senior state director, in a news release. ”While AARP and its members understand AEP’s responsibility to its shareholders, the continued escalation of electric rates, at a time where household incomes have seen no growth for the past two years, means more and more West Virginians will be facing the tough decision of buying food, buying medications or paying their utility bill.”

AEP has said the rate increase is necessary to cover the cost of coal and federally mandated scrubbers on smoke stacks.