WV BILL WILL TRANSFER ELECTRIC COSTS FROM BIG COMPANIES TO HOUSEHOLDS

A bill before the West Virginia state Senate could give industrial-scale power consumers up to a 40% break on electric rates.

The cost of the discount would likely be passed on to small residential ratepayers of up to 7%.

SB 600 would allow those who use more than 10,000 kilowatts of power a year to negotiate a discount of up to 40 percent on their utility bills.

Power costs have been going up for years, which is hard on homeowners as well as manufacturers. State Commerce Secretary Woody Thrasher argued the discount could be a way to encourage energy intensive industries to locate to the state. West Virginia has historically had low electricity prices, although that advantage has eroded as rates have risen sharply.

The bill was negotiated without input from representatives of small ratepayers.

“We have the office of the consumer advocate specifically designed to look out for residents and small-business owners and other ratepayers. And yet they were not invited to attend these stakeholder meetings.“

The bill is on the fast track for passage.