Mon Power and Potomac Edison have announced that the Public Service Commission of West Virginia has approved settlement agreements allowing recovery of costs for enhanced tree-trimming programs and higher fuel and purchased power expenses incurred by the utilities.
The settlements were negotiated by the utilities and the PSC Staff, the Consumer Advocate Division, West Virginia Energy Users Group and the West Virginia Citizen Action Group. As a result, the monthly bill for a typical residential customer using 1,000 kWh of electricity will rise about $9. Even with the increase, rates for Mon Power and Potomac Edison residential customers will be about 16 percent below the national average. The new rates were effective for the companies' West Virginia customers beginning Jan. 1, 2016.
Since implementing the enhanced vegetation management program in 2014, Mon Power and Potomac Edison circuits have experienced significantly fewer tree-related outages in areas where tree trimming has been conducted to the new standards. Tree-trimming activities have been completed along more than 7,000 miles of power line right-of-ways across more than 19,000 acres to date. The PSC approved the companies' vegetation management program in April 2014.
Under a cost recovery process established by the PSC in 2007, Mon Power and Potomac Edison customer bills are adjusted annually to reflect increases or decreases in the cost of fuel used to generate electricity and purchased power. Mon Power and Potomac Edison do not profit from increased fuel and purchased power costs.