The Consumer Rate Relief Charge (CRRC)
will appear on bills for Appalachian Power customers in West Virginia beginning in mid-November. Although this is a new line item on customer bills, it is not
an increase in rates. The charge is for previous fuel and purchased power costs, and is offset by an equal reduction in the Rate Billing charge. There is no net rate change
A surge in coal prices beginning in 2008 caused coal and purchased power costs to escalate, creating an unrecovered debt. Through the passage of the Consumer Rate Relief Bonds bill in 2012 and with the West Virginia Public Service Commission’s approval, Appalachian Power avoided a rate increase by securitizing that debt. The cost of those bonds will be recovered through customer rates over a 15-year period.
Rates actually decreased about 3 percent on Sept. 1, and will remain at that lower level with this change in how charges appear on customer bills. Rates are still 9.4¢ per kilowatt-hour (kWh). This is well below the national average of 11.9¢/kWh.