Curtis Tate Published

Proposal To Settle Appalachian Power Fuel Costs Draws Opposition

Wisps of power plant emissions rise into a clear sky as traffic passes on a highway in the foreground.
The John E. Amos Power plant as seen from Nitro, West Virginia.
Curtis Tate/West Virginia Public Broadcasting

A settlement has been proposed to pay off hundreds of millions of dollars in Appalachian Power costs. But not everyone supports it.

The West Virginia Energy Users Group and the West Virginia Coal Association have proposed to pay off about $500 million in excess fuel costs incurred since 2021 by securitizing or spreading out the payments over 20 years.

However, the Public Service Commission staff, the state Consumer Advocate Division and the Kanawha County Commission oppose the deal.

It is not immediately clear what impact the settlement would have on rates. Appalachian Power customers will have to pay more per month to deal with the costs under any scenario.

The Consumer Advocate Division has asked the PSC to schedule a supplementary hearing on the settlement.

Securitization isn’t typically used to pay for routine costs such as purchasing fuel. 

Rather, it’s designed to help states retire coal-burning power plants before the end of their useful life and replace them with more economical or less carbon-intensive electricity generation.

Appalachian Power is an underwriter of West Virginia Public Broadcasting.