Curtis Tate Published

Kanawha County Asks PSC For New Public Hearing On Appalachian Power Request

A picture of Appalachian Power's Mountaineer plant in Mason County, West Virginia.
The Appalachian Power Mountaineer plant in Mason County, West Virginia, in August 2021.
David Adkins / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

The Kanawha County Commission is again gearing up to fight a potential rate increase for Appalachian Power customers.

Kanawha County commissioners have opposed Appalachian Power’s request to recover $297 million from ratepayers since it was first filed nearly a year ago.

Last month, the West Virginia Public Service Commission denied the request, pending a review of the company’s fuel procurement practices for its coal-fired power plants.

The Kanawha County Commission has asked the PSC to reopen the case once the review is complete and hold public hearings.

“We fear in the very near future the (disputed) rate request will be quietly approved without any opportunity for the public to be heard,” the commissioners wrote the PSC. “The public deserves to be heard.”

In a statement, PSC chair Charlotte Lane said her commission will give notice and schedule a hearing when it is ready and advise the public on how to comment on the case.

The PSC received hundreds of comments from residents, local governments and industrial customers last year, almost unanimously opposing the Appalachian Power request.

Appalachian Power is an underwriter of West Virginia Public Broadcasting.