Business, Energy, State Government

PSC encourages public comments in Mon Power/Potomac Edison rate case that includes reduced net metering credit

MORGANTOWN – The state Public Service Commission is encouraging public comments on Mon Power and Potomac Edison’s rate-hike case.

This case is the companies’ base rate case, filed May 31, requesting $207.5 million, including for infrastructure and their energy assistance program. The hike would cost the average residential customer $18.07 per month — raising a bill from $120.20 to $138.27, a 15% hike. The overall proposed increase across all customer types – residential, commercial, industrial and street lighting – is 13%.

Along with the rate increase, a chief concern in this case is the companies’ proposal to change the way it credits home solar power customers who contract for net metering. The proposal has generated 1,245 letters of protest.

The PSC has set aside three days for evidentiary hearings in the case, starting at 9:30 a.m. Jan. 24 at PSC headquarters at 201 Brooks St., Charleston. A coalition of three energy-oriented consumer groups has asked the PSC to schedule at least four public hearings in the case, across the companies’ footprint, but the PSC has issued no order on that request to date.

Public comments can be filed by email on the PSC website, or may be mailed to the PSC. Reference Case No. 23-0460-E-42T in your comments. Written comments should be addressed to Karen Buckley, executive secretary, 201 Brooks St., Charleston, WV, 25323.

“We encourage and actively seek comments from those affected by any rate increase pending before the Commission,” PSC Chair Charlotte R. Lane said. “But these larger cases seem to attract more notice than smaller cases.”

Net-metering customers generate all or a portion of their own power, typically through solar, and receive credits on their bill for any power they generate in excess of what they use.

Currently, the companies provide a full 1-to-1 credit, meaning energy given to the utility is worth the same as energy bought from the utility. The current residential base rate is about 11.4 cents per kilowatt hour (kWh) and could go up to about 13 cents as the companies’ several rate cases reach their respective conclusions.

The companies propose to change that to base credits on the wholesale rate for electricity, which the filings calculate at 6.6 cents per kWh – roughly half of the 13 cents per kWh. This would take effect for new net-metering customers joining after March 27, 2024.

PSC staff have agreed that the credit needs to be reduced but proposed a middle ground: 8.8 cents per kWh.

More information on this case can be found on the PSC website, Click on “Case Information” and access Case No. 23-0460-E-42T.