The West Virginia Public Service Commission has approved a $118 million rate increase for Allegheny Energy.

Allegheny has 500,000 customers in West Virginia.

The increase means the average residential customer will pay nearly $8 a month more for 1,000 kilowatt hours.

The current average residential bill is about $83.

Pennsylvania-based Allegheny Energy originally sought a $141 million increase to help offset the cost of fuel and to purchase power from other suppliers.

Allegheny Energy says the increase is to recoup its energy costs for next year, and to make up for prior periods when its rates didn't cover the utility's energy costs.

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