Curtis Tate Published

Do Something About High Utility Bills, Local Officials Tell Lawmakers

The West Virginia state capitol building through the trees.
W.Va. State Capitol
Curtis Tate/West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Unreasonable, unaffordable and job-killing.

That’s what the Kanawha County Commission called utility rate increases in recent years, especially for electricity.

Electric bills have gone up 200 percent in the past 15 years, the commissioners wrote members of the county’s delegation in the West Virginia Legislature. They also mentioned the rising cost for water and natural gas.

The commission wants lawmakers to introduce a bill to cap the rate increases and surcharges.

They also think the state auditor should have the ability to review public utility tax returns.

The commission requested a formal hearing to examine the issue.

The commission is one of several local government entities to voice opposition to electric power rate increases before the state Public Service Commission.