Allegheny Energy customers will see a 15% increase in their electric bill starting Thursday.

Allegheny says the West Virginia Public Service Commission has approved the rate hike, which had been agreed to by the commission's staff, the PSC Consumer Advocate Division and an industrial group in mid-December.

It means an $11 a month increase for customers using 1,000 kilowatt-hours.

The company says the increase is linked to higher prices for coal.

Allegheny has about 490,000 customers in West Virginia.

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