|The West Virginia Public Service Commission says it will take months to review the request for a rate increase by Appalachian Power.|
Home electric bills could see an increase of nearly $15 a month on average, if the WV PSC approves the proposed rate increase.
In a release from Appalachian Power on Thursday they stated infrastructure upgrades, higher local and state taxes, lower customer usage and a decrease in population are behind the hike.
"All the customers share the fixed costs, so the cost to run the line through neighborhoods and homes is shared by all the users. When the number of customers goes down, the number of customers that share that cost is reduced, that means the cost will rise," said Appalachian Power Spokesperson, Jeri Matheney.
Appalachian Power is regulated by the PSC and says it looks into if what is proposed is really needed. In 2014 a similar request was made. The company asked for $226 million and were granted $123 million. That increase was spread out over two years.
In this latest proposal request, Appalachian power is requesting to change how people pay for power.
"The first amount of electricity you use will cost a little more and as you use more the costs go down, and the the reason we are doing that is it will help customers to heat with electricity cost or have high air conditioning costs," said Matheney.
Matheney said it's important for people to look into what they can do to keep their bills low.
The proposed rate increase would not go into effect until 2019 and people could voice their opinion to theWV PSC by writing to the commission or leave an online comment.