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Appalachian Power gets OK for rate boost

Home electricity customers will be charged about half a percent more for service in 2012 as Appalachian Power Company makes up for investment in two out-of-state wind farms, the company said on Thursday night.

The increase is the result of the State Corporation Commission’s approval for Appalachian Power to recoup $6.3 million in renewable energy programs – in this case wind farms in West Virginia and Indiana. The SCC said on Thursday that it approved the raise.

This means an increase of 47 cents on the roughly $95 customers pay per 1,000 kilowatt hours, said company spokesman Todd Burns. Electricity rates are about 10 percent below the rate during the same period last year, he said.

Appalachian Power requested the increase earlier this year to recoup the investment it made as part of a state-approved program to increase the percentage of energy delivered from renewable sources. The company produces most of its energy from coal.

“Several public witnesses questioned recovery through the RPS [renewable energy] rate adjustment of costs for renewable energy produced outside of Virginia,” an SCC spokesman wrote in a statement Thursday. “The Commission found that the Code of Virginia does not permit it to deny cost recovery on such grounds.”