By Emmett Pepper, Energy Efficient WV.
The West Virginia Public Service Commission (PSC) is establishing a task force to look into ways to reduce energy costs. The task force was initiated after a request by the West Virginia Coal Association to look into how to keep the coal-fired power plants running more often, however the PSC established the task force with a much broader scope. If any leaders are interested in cost issues for energy and/or the rates of coal utilization, the deadline for being a task force member is July 6. Regardless of that, the public can participate by submitting comments, which Energy Efficient West Virginia (EEWV) will have information about that on our Facebook page in the coming weeks.
In the meantime, AEP customers should send messages to the PSC on the latest rate increase ($18+/month for residential customers). You can do that by going to this website and selecting “22-0393-E-ENEC APCo/WPCo Expanded Net Energy Cost” and submit your protest. Please urge the Commission to help ratepayers reduce their own energy costs through meeting their energy needs and to use free market principles to source the most cost-effective utility generation. (You can also give in-person testimony at the PSC in Charleston on Tuesday, July 26th at 5:30pm.)
We believe that ratepayers should be more empowered and encouraged to reduce energy use and we know our solar advocacy friends believe people should be further empowered to produce their own energy. Those are two proven, cost-effective methods to reduce the cost of meeting our energy needs. Additionally, we believe that the PSC should ensure that ratepayer cost is the polar star guiding decision-making on whether ratepayers should be forced to pay for certain projects. We know that utilities that buy electricity from the free market (instead of buying coal-fired power plants) can reduce costs to their customers, for example.
For more information contact Emmett Pepper of Energy Efficient West Virginia at firstname.lastname@example.org.
To learn how to lower your electricity bills, plan to attend this virtual event on July 19 from 4:00 – 5:00PM.
If you live in the Charleston area, an in-person event will be held at the Kanawha County Library on July 27 from 6:00 – 7:00PM.