The majority of West Virginians got a break from high electricity rates in 2012, with a new report showing rates either declined or remained at their current levels for the first time in five years, the Charleston Gazette reports.
According to the news source, the report was issued by the state Public Service Commission’s Consumer Advocate Division. Director Byron Harris said the stable electricity rates for Appalachian Power customers helped anchor overall utility rates, while Monongahela Power’s rates went down after the PSC ordered a decrease in December.
However, Harris pointed out that the report may not be an accurate depiction of what 2013 will look like.
“For both Appalachian Power and Wheeling Power, AEP’s companies, and Monongahela Power and the Potomac Edison Company, they have petitions before the Public Service Commission to acquire over $1 billion of electric-generating facilities,” Harris said. “Those impacts don’t show up in the rate survey and they are going to have significant impact on West Virginians.”
Although West Virginia has implemented an energy deregulation law for its natural gas industry, customers are still not able to switch electricity providers in the state, which could help further bring down rates.