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PSC allows use of funds to assist APCo/WPCo customers

CHARLESTON — The Public Service Commission of West Virginia has authorized Appalachian Power Company and Wheeling Power Company to use approximately $13 million of the remaining Fresh Start Funds to provide assistance with paying electric bills for residential customers suffering from severe financial problems due to the COVID-19.

In 2018, the Commission ordered utilities operating in the state to investigate the financial impacts resulting from the 2017 Federal Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. APCo/WPCo earmarked $15 million of those savings to establish the Fresh Start Fund to provide financial assistance for the electric bills of low-income West Virginia residential customers.

“The financial impacts of the pandemic on APCo and WPCo customers are ongoing and unprecedented,” said PSC Chairman Charlotte Lane. “Although the Fresh Start Fund was initially created to assist low-income customers, none of us could have predicted where we find ourselves today. Many of our fellow West Virginians who have never asked for or needed this kind of assistance, find themselves in unimaginably dire circumstances. It makes perfect sense to allow the use of these funds to help as wide a pool of customers as possible.”

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