Appalachian Power to face new regulatory system
Beginning this July, state regulators will review Appalachian Power Company’s rates and earnings every two years, following legislation that significantly changes how the utility is regulated in Virginia.
Appalachian Power says it sought the legislation to reduce the impact of fluctuating electric rates on ratepayers and make the process of collecting costs and the profit it’s allowed to earn more straightforward.
“Appalachian Power’s reason for introducing the legislation was twofold,” wrote company spokeswoman Teresa Hall in an email. “To provide relief to customers by minimizing the peaks and valleys associated with triennial reviews, and to provide the company with a clearer path to recovering its costs and authorized rate of return.”
Many of the changes ushered in by the new law, which will give the State Corporation Commission greater leeway in setting utility rates, are mirrored in other legislation that changed the regulatory framework for Dominion Energy, the state’s largest electric utility and a major power player in Richmond.
“There has been a broad shift among lawmakers, the administration and legislative advocates to having a consistent and fair approach to rate cases for the company,” said Brennan Gilmore, executive director of Clean Virginia, an advocacy group founded by Charlottesville millionaire Michael Bills to counter Dominion’s influence in the General Assembly.
Negotiators involved in the crafting of the Appalachian Power and Dominion bills have credited their passage to Republican Gov. Glenn Youngkin, who was involved in a discussion of both.
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