Mark Payne Nov. 28, 2014, 11:32am

Virginia's State Corporation Commission (SCC) ruled that a power company earned too much profit and must refund customers $5.825 million over the next six months, Attorney General Mark Herring said on Wednesday. 

The Appalachian Power Company (APCo) will be forced to pay back money that was earned between 2012 and 2013. Customers will receive rebates based on how much energy they used from the power company.

In addition, the SCC ruled that the power company will not be able to get the increase it wants to charge customers, which is double the amount for places of worship, residential customers and small businesses. 

The commission also lowered APCo's rate of return to 9.7 percent, which is the first time the rate has been below 10 percent but still higher than the rate proposed by the attorney general. APCo had requested a 10.52 percent rate of return.

"Although we fought for more relief for Virginians, I'm glad to see that APCo customers in central, southwest, and southside Virginia will be receiving some rebates from past overearnings," Herring said. "I'm also encouraged to see the SCC agreed with us that APCo's proposed doubling of the customer charge on homes, small businesses and churches should be rejected. Although the SCC didn't reduce APCo's allowed profit as much as we recommended, this adjustment should help protect residents and small businesses in the years ahead. As attorney general, I will continue to fight for the lowest reasonable utility bills."

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