Delegate Ward Armstrong will testify at a hearing about APCo’s electric utility rate increases. Here is a press release from Armstrong’s office:
Delegate Ward Armstrong will attend the public hearing by the State Corporation Commission (SCC) on APCo’s latest rate increase request this evening in Rocky Mount. Armstrong will testify before the Commission that electric utility rate increases have had a devastating effect on both consumers and businesses in the APCo service area.
“Unfortunately, the General Assembly has tied the hands of the SCC, limiting their ability to control electric rates,” remarked Armstrong. ”The SCC must enforce the rules that are given them by the legislature. Although it is important to continue to testify before the Commission on the impact of these rates increases, until the General Assembly is prepared to step up and reform electric utility rate regulation, consumers and businesses alike will not likely see any relief from high electric rates.”
Armstrong convened a Work Group to study current electric utility regulatory scheme in Virginia and develop new legislation to address deficiencies that exist. He introduced legislation during the 2011 General Assembly Session, recommended by the Work Group, which would bring greater oversight of electric utility rates and ultimately reduce the cost of electricity for all consumer classes. The legislation was defeated in committee.
Including the current requests, APCo has requested fifteen separate rate increase requests since the current regulatory legislation went into effect in 2007. The company is currently seeking four separate rate requests before the SCC: Case PUE-2011-00035, Case PUE-2011-00036, Case PUE-2011-00037, and Case PUE-2011-00034. If the rate increases are approved, residential customers would see a 9.6% increase in their electric bills.