(04/22/2013)
West Virginia electric utility customers have long complained about power outfits not clearing their right-of-ways or having an adequate replacement program.

Now, the WV Public Service Commission is asking for an clearing plan for right-of-ways from customers of Appalachian Power and Wheeling Power, and customers would pay more for electricity as the result of a plan.

the power companies filed Friday with the West Virginia Public Service Commission to keep trees and other plants trimmed around their transmission lines.

The PSC asked for the plan after thousands of customers were left without power for extended periods of time, some more than two weeks, following last summer's Derecho and other storms.

According to a news release from Appalachian Power, if the PSC approves the companies' proposal, the increased maintenance on rights-of-way would cost about $58 million a year.

The money will be collected through a surcharge included in customers' bills," according to the news release.

Appalachian Power and Wheeling Power customers already pay for about $11.6 million a year for right-of-way maintenance.

Appalachian Power has more than 400,000 residential customers, more than 70,000 commercial customers and nearly 2,700 industrial customers in West Virginia.


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