Solar offers a way out of staggering utility rate hikes
On Tuesday, October 12, the West Virginia Public Service Commission ruled in favor of AEP’s latest request to raise rates – their fourth rate increase in the past three years. AEP petitioned for the higher rates in order to pay for upgrades to three of its legacy power plants, a bill that neither Virginia nor Kentucky were willing to foot.
AEP will transfer an estimated $444 million in costs to its West Virginia customers over the next 10 years.
The reality for West Virginia AEP customers is harsh. Since 2018, rates have gone up by nearly 45%, while the pandemic has taken its toll on our economy and soured employment prospects. If your electric bill was $200 in 2018, you’ll soon be paying $290 for the same amount of electricity.
AEP customers in Kentucky and Virginia won’t see an increase in their electric bills. Regulators in those states ruled against paying their share of the added costs in favor of more price-stable, cost effective investments in wind and solar power generation — leaving West Virginia ratepayers with the enormous burden of bankrolling all of AEP’s upgrade costs alone. While we bail out the power plants, AEP, a hugely-profitable, private corporation can amass even more wealth.
Solar offers a way out.
Solar is now much less expensive than utility power, particularly in AEP territory. The PSC may put its thumb on the scale to favor AEP at the expense of homeowners and businesses — but ratepayers don’t have to go along.
AEP customers switching to solar are seeing as much as 30% savings – in their first year.
For a family spending $200/month with the utility right now, Solar Holler can often swap that bill for a fixed solar payment of $140-150/month, using our innovative solar financing.
AEP may have a monopoly over the region they serve – West Virginians can’t choose which utility they purchase their electricity from. But folks can choose to ditch the utility altogether, start making their own power with solar, and protect themselves from continual rate increases.