Appalachian Power has asked the West Virginia Public Service Commission for a $297 million rate increase.
For a residential customer who uses 1,000 kilowatt-hours a month, that will add roughly $18 a month to the bill, according to the company. The current average residential bill is about $155 a month.
Appalachian Power serves about 1 million customers in West Virginia, Virginia and Tennessee.
The sharply higher cost of coal and natural gas is behind the request. Coal prices have more than doubled from a year ago, and natural gas prices have more than tripled.
An increased demand for electricity and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine have pushed prices to record levels. Coal was so scarce late last year that Appalachian Power had to idle its West Virginia plants for prolonged periods so they wouldn’t run out of fuel.
In a statement, Appalachian Power President Chris Beam called the request difficult but necessary.
“With the steep and rapid rise in energy and fuel costs over the past several months,” Beam said, “the revenues we collect from customers have been and are projected to be significantly less than the cost of the energy provided to customers.”
Appalachian Power is an underwriter of West Virginia Public Broadcasting.