The West Virginia Public Service Commission (PSC) announced on Thursday, July 26, that it had issued an order that will freeze Appalachian Power and Wheeling Power electricity rates where they are.
The order came after the PSC analyzed the utility's costs associated with electricity generation, and found that expenses related to procuring fuel and purchasing power made up the largest portion of customers' rates. These were both also the costliest expenses for the utilities.
According to the Charleston Gazette, the new order was based on a study that found that with the projected cost of fuel, construction activity, environmental regulations and financial struggles AEP is facing, adjusting customers' rates to better suit the company's needs was not warranted.
This, however, does not guarantee permanently lower prices for AEP customers, as other cases are still pending that the PSC has yet to rule on.
According to the media outlet, officials with Appalachian Power have backed off from asking for a rate increase after deciding to focus on the damage caused by the wind storm in late June.
When rates do climb in deregulated states, residents are encouraged to compare electricity rates to decide which plan would be the best for them. These states include Texas, Pennsylvania, New York and New Jersey.