Appalachian Power seeks rate increase in Virginia to pay for environmental improvements

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RICHMOND, Va. (WJHL) — Appalachian Power is seeking permission to increase rates in Virginia in order to recover costs associated with environmental improvements at coal power plants that serve Virginia customers.

The utility company says if the Virginia State Corporation Commission approves its request, a residential customer who uses 1,000 kilowatt-hours of electricity a month could expect to see a $2.50 monthly increase beginning in Oct. 2021. The average residential utility customer uses about 877 kilowatt-hours a month, according to the Energy Information Administration.

According to Appalachian Power, about $250 million will be invested in the John Amos and Mountaineer power plants for improvements necessary to meet environmental regulations.

“This investment in our existing coal plants is all about balance,” Chris Beam, Appalachian Power president and COO, said a in a release. “While we are planning investments in renewables in both Virginia and West Virginia, consistent with state legislation, we also need to invest in these plants because they will continue to play an important role in maintaining affordability and reliability for our customers.”

The utility company says it will transition Virginia customers to complete carbon-free generation by 2050 as required by the Virginia Clean Economy Act.

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