Electricity Rate Hikes Planned in Appalachia – How You Can Fight Back and Save Money with Solar
If you live in certain parts of West Virginia, chances are that your electricity rates may be about to increase. In a recent application to the state Public Service Commission, the Appalachian Power Company requested a revenue increase of $114.6 million. While the commission has 300 days to consider the request, should it receive approval, more than 400,000 customers will experience a noticeable increase in their monthly electric bill. Public hearings are scheduled throughout October and November for citizen input. The delay in an official decision marks a good time to research and to consider the solar options available. Solar is an investment that produces a strong ROI even in West Virginia, making it an attractive choice for leaving increasing public utility bills behind.
Reasons for the Proposed Increase
According to reports from the Appalachian Power Company, there are several factors contributing to the need for a rate increase. One of the main factors is the decline in the number of residential customers the company serves—in fact, roughly half of the requested hike is due to a significant decline in the amount of electricity used by customers. Appalachian Power Company is down 11,000 residential customers since 2013. Additional factors the company lists in its request for an increase are:
- The costs of maintaining and improving utility infrastructure.
- Higher state and local taxes.
- A reduction in federal income taxes.
A top concern of many serviced by Appalachian Power Company is that while the rates go up, their income stays the same. Many residents have expressed this concern in letters to the commission ahead of the public hearings. The primary course of action customers now have is to plead their case before the commission during the public hearings.
Whether the commission will approve the requested 11 percent hike remains to be seen. From charging our cell phones to perhaps powering in-home medical equipment, electricity is a valuable part of our everyday lives. It is something we all take for granted—until we don’t have it. When a storm knocks out electricity to an area, it can be days before it is restored. Just because your electric bill climbs in cost doesn’t mean your power will get restored faster.
If you’re feeling frustrated with paying more for electricity due to increases beyond your control, consider going solar. The ROI is predictable and the system typically pays for itself in 10-12 years or so. Since a quality installation by a licensed and experienced contractor is expected to last well over 30 years, significant savings are realized long after the payoff. Learning more about the benefits of going solar is the first step to achieving your energy independence.
Benefits of Going Solar
Escalating utility costs don’t just happen once. As rates continue to climb due to a variety of factors, alternative energy sources become more attractive to home and business owners. Understanding how solar works is easy, thanks to Mountain View Solar’s highly experienced staff. We’ll show you how making the
transition to solar power provides you with economic and environmental benefits, such as:
- Owning your own energy source
- Reduced dependency on fossil fuels
- Reduction of the nation’s dependency on imported fuels
- Optional battery backup in case of utility power failure
- The Return-on-Investment (ROI) is typically 10-12 years
- Free energy once the ROI is realized
- Reduced energy costs
- Zero greenhouse emissions—To put this in perspective, a 5 kilowatt system installed in WV can offset the annual greenhouse gas emissions of one vehicle.
- Infinite energy source, capable of charging an electric car from the sun
An increase to any bill, especially an important utility such as power, is unsettling for most people. While how to manage the increase financially is a real concern, the true fear results from the lack of control. Knowing the rate increase is out-of-their hands leaves customers feeling overwhelmed and frustrated. Customers can and should take advantage of public hearings to share their thoughts with the commission. These same customers owe it to themselves to consider the advantages of solar power. The switch from dependent to independent is just one attractive option that attracts customers to solar throughout the Mid-Atlantic Region.
Mountain View Solar Can Help
Choosing the best solar option for your home or business is easier than you think, thanks to our helpful and professional staff. We provide free estimates and also have financing options. Be cautious of companies encouraging solar system leases—you could end up with a 20 year contract or even possible lien on your home. Solar leases can also greatly affect the sale of a home. Leasing does little to save you money and can result in you losing control over, believe it or not, your own roof.
At Mountain View Solar, you can feel safe with the knowledge that you get:
- High quality domestic solar modules
- No long term contracts or liens on your home
- A 30 percent Federal tax credit
- Added value to your home complete with FREE Pearl Solar Certification
It is our mission to enable people throughout the region to utilize solar energy to experience energy independence and environmental stewardship. We also believe strongly in education and community outreach. Since 2009, we’ve assisted businesses both small and large and helped homeowners of small and large houses. You’ll find the same level of Mountain View Solar customer service no matter the size of your home or business.
Solar energy is here, it’s exciting, and it benefits you and the environment. At Mountain View Solar, we make sure that we provide you with a free estimate that is easy to understand. And, we’re always open to and available for questions or concerns, something you don’t always find with utility and solar leasing companies.
If you’re ready to take control of your energy costs, contact us today for a free zero-pressure consultation. Life is busy enough—the rate increase you battle today will most likely reappear as utility companies struggle for financial footing. Not only does going solar improve your ROI in the long run, with battery backup it can provide invaluable peace-of-mind in the event of a power outage.
Mountain View Solar is a family-owned company based in Berkeley Springs, West Virginia. We are also licensed in Virginia, Maryland, and Pennsylvania. Let us help you decide upon the best solar option for your home or business. By investing now, you’ll be on the right path to a strong ROI and, best of all, energy independence.