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West Virginia Rate Hikes Update

October 29th, 2014 by WCBC Radio

Negotiations are underway to resolve FirstEnergy's proposed $151.5 million rate increase for two West Virginia subsidiaries.

The West Virginia Public Service Commission had planned to hold evidentiary hearings on the company's request this week. The hearings are in recess as negotiations continue, Jackie Roberts, executive director of the PSC's Consumer Advocate Division, told The Exponent Telegram. "We've recessed because we may have a settlement," Roberts said. "I think we've got an agreement in principle, but as you know, it's never done until it's signed and filed."

FirstEnergy subsidiaries Mon Power and Potomac Edison submitted the request to the PSC in April.

The proposed increase includes $103 million in base rate charges and $48.5 million for vegetation management. If the full rate hike sought by FirstEnergy is approved, the monthly bill for a typical residential customer using 1,000 kilowatt hours would increase from$92.62 to $107.98, FirstEnergy spokesman Todd Meyers said.

Meyers said the company has been working with all parties to reach a settlement agreement.

"We do have an agreement in principle," he told the newspaper.

A number of hurdles remain before any agreement is finalized, including putting the agreement in writing, Roberts said.

"That's always tricky, because that's when you find out that people have differing understandings," she said.

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