Electricity costs increase for Appalachian Power Company customers

Published: Nov. 1, 2022 at 5:37 PM EDT
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ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ) - As of November 1, Appalachian Power Company customers can expect their monthly bills to go up. The average cost of a monthly bill is expected to increase by about $20.

Because the cost of fuel and generating electricity has gone up, customers are left to make up the difference. A spokesperson with Appalachian Power explained how inflation, the pandemic and the ongoing war in Ukraine have driven the cost of energy higher.

“A customer who uses about 1,000 kilowatt hours a month simply costs more to generate electricity than it did a year ago,” Teresa Hamilton Hall said. “We know that it’s going to be a challenging financial time for a lot of families out there, because prices of everything are going up.”

The electric company is offering financial assistance for those who may be struggling to pay their bills.

“It is a significant increase for customers, it’s certainly more than we saw in the past couple of years,” Hamilton Hall said. “All we ask is that customers who are having trouble paying their bill reach out to us to learn about our payment options and to learn about our energy efficiency programs.”

Appalachian Power also partners with community organizations like The Salvation Army to help people pay their bills. The organization’s after-care case manager explained how The Salvation Army can help Roanoke Valley residents.

“Give us a call so we can help work it out,” Phillip Priest said. “Right now, we can give between $100-300 per person, depending on how much it is and depending on the situation.”

With the monthly increase, The Salvation Army is expecting more people to need help during the winter months.

“$20 will be an enormous amount of money,” Priest said. “Normally your light bill or electric bill is going up anyway because you’re using it in your home more in the winter.”

But donations can help those in the Roanoke Valley keep their lights on.

“We all know how important it is especially in the winter to have heat,” Priest said.

Customers should be mindful of the amount of electricity used throughout the day to help save on bills.

The monthly increase is temporary until the SEC holds a hearing on the cost increases. Customers can expect to pay the higher prices until that hearing happens December 14.

There is a public comment that will be considered in the hearing.