The Times West Virginian

March 6, 2013

Bill would help keep electric rates down

Some companies voice opposition to proposal

By Jessica Borders
Times West Virginian

FAIRMONT — While some organizations are rooting for a bill centered around long-term planning for electric utilities, the power companies that would be impacted have a different view.

Delegate Tim Manchin, D-Marion, is the lead sponsor for House Bill 2803, which would mandate that electric utilities in the state develop and implement integrated resource plans. This legislation was introduced in the House on Monday and referred to the Government Organization Committee and then the Judiciary Committee.

According to the West Virginia Legislature’s website, the bill would add a new section to the West Virginia Code charging the Public Service Commission with ordering electric utilities to file updated integrated resource plans every two years. The PSC would be responsible for setting deadlines for the plans and reviewing them, and holding public hearings.

House Bill 2803 designates that “the plan shall compare projected peak demands with current and planned capacity resources in order to develop a portfolio of resources that represents a reasonable balance of cost and risk for the utility and its customers in meeting future demand for the provision of adequate and reliable service to its electric customers for at least the following 20 years,” states.

The legislation stipulates that the PSC issue an order by March 31, 2015, and that the electric utilities submit their initial integrated resource plans by Sept. 1, 2015.

Manchin said most states require that power companies submit some sort of integrated resource plan. He explained that this is a way to look at keeping energy costs down as much as possible.


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