Public Service Commission: Average W.Va. industrial electric rates lowest in nation

CHARLESTON – A major component for attracting business to a state has to be the cost of fuel for industrial output. While those rates have increased in West Virginia since the turn of the century, they still remain competitively low compared to every other state.

PSC Chairman Charlotte Lane on Monday released electrical rate costs for industrial customers for this year and since 2001.

Those figures show West Virginia industrial customers enjoyed lower electricity power rates for the first seven months of this year than any surrounding state except Kentucky.

West Virginia’s rate of 7.1 cents per kilowatt hour was substantially less than the national average during that time of 8.1 cents. Kentucky’s rate through this July was 6.8 cents.

Since the turn of the century, West Virginia’s industrial electric rates have been the lowest in the nation overall.

West Virginia’s industrial cost has increased from 3.7 cents per kilowatt hour in 2001 to an average of 6.7 cents through 2022. The national average increased at the same time from 5.1 cents to 8.5 cents, with Kentucky’s overall rate at that time of 7.6 cents, up from a very low 3.0 cents in 2001.

“The increase from 3.7 cents per kilowatt hour to 6.7 cents per kilowatt hour is disappointing, but is not dissimilar from the trend in electric rates throughout the United States,” the PSC Chairman said.

“The Commission pays very close attention to the industrial rates, and has done everything possible to ensure that those customers pay no more than the lowest rate necessary to cover only the reasonable and prudent costs incurred by our utilities to serve them,” Lane said.

The January-July average was 7.3 cents in Ohio, 7.9 cents in Pennsylvania, 8.3 cents in Virginia, 9.8 cents in Maryland, and the national average was 8.1 cents.

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