ROANOKE, Va. – Appalachian Power, a utility subsidiary of American Electric Power (NYSE: AEP), this week filed its annual fuel factor update with the Virginia State Corporation Commission (SCC) and is requesting an increase in the fuel rate for its Virginia customers.
Fuel costs are the portion of a customer’s bill used to recover the cost of natural gas and coal used in the generation of electricity, as well as the cost of purchased power. The SCC reviews the company’s fuel rate each year to determine whether it should be increased or lowered.
Fuel costs are approximately 20 percent of a residential customer’s electric bill. The current fuel factor is 1.999 cents per kilowatt-hour (kWh). Appalachian’s proposal increases the fuel factor to 2.300 cents per kWh. For a customer using 1,000 kilowatt hours in a month, this will result in an approximate $3 monthly increase. The fuel factor was reduced last year due to lower costs; this year’s increase brings it to the same level as it was in 2019.
If approved, the increase will go into effect in November. At that point, a Virginia residential customer using 1,000 kWh/month will pay 12.29 cents/kWh for electricity, a cost that remains below the national average. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), the average residential U.S. cost for electricity was 13.41 cents per kWh. (Electric Power Monthly, August 24, 2021.)