Today, the WV PSC issued its final order in the pending FirstEnergy base rate case.
If you are a residential customer and pay your electric bill to Mon Power or Potomac Edison, your electric rate is going up
8.1% 8.8%* according to the settlement agreement between FirstEnergy and the other parties in the case.
This increase includes new separate charge, or surcharge, for vegetation management costs. (And you thought they were already doing vegetation management. Silly you.) The rate increase also includes the costs for repair of distribution and transmission systems after the 2012 Derecho and Hurricane Sandy. Many of these costs could have been avoided if FirstEnergy had been doing proper maintenance of its equipment and rights of way before PSC granted them a new surcharge.
And don’t forget the Harrison plant. The former surcharge for the Harrison boondoggle goes away, but that cost is incorporated directly into the overall rate base. This increase is also included in the 8.1% rise in rates.
Because the WV PSC will not require WV’s Ohio-based power companies to implement real energy efficiency programs that will reduce West Virginians’ electric bills, monthly electric bills will continue to rise as a result of these new rate increases.
For West Virginians with solar power systems, these increases in electric rates shorten the recovery period for their initial investments by increasing the value of the electric rates they avoid paying.
*I must have missed a charge when I calculated the rate increase from the PSC order. FirstEnergy says the rate increase is 8.8% in their press release.
Incorporating both rate changes, typical Mon Power and Potomac Edison residential customers using 1,000 kilowatt hours per month can expect their bill to increase from $92.38 to $100.49. The new rates will take effect February 25, 2015.
That increase is 8.8%.