This report contains interstate and intrastate electricity, natural gas, water and sewer rate comparisons. West Virginia's utility rates are regulated by the Public Service Commission (PSC), which is currently under sunset review. The Public Service Commission is charged with the responsibility of regulating public utilities to ensure that rates and charges for utility services are just, reasonable, applied without unjust discrimination or preference, and based primarily on the costs of providing these services.
Because each consumer of this report will have unique interests and information needs, rate data has been provided to allow the reader to make comparisons and draw conclusions. The data is organized in six sections as follows:
Section 1: PSC Electric and Gas Residential Rate Comparison
Section 2: U.S. Department of Energy Rate Comparison and Ranking
Section 3: PSC Rate Comparison of West Virginia Water Utilities (Rank Order)
Section 4: PSC Rate Comparison of West Virginia Water Utilities (Alphabetical Order)
Section 5: PSC Rate Comparison of West Virginia Sewer Utilities (Rank Order)
Section 6: PSC Rate Comparison of West Virginia Sewer Utilities (Alphabetical Order)
Except for Section 2, which is based on U.S. Department of Energy data compiled by the Office of the Legislative Auditor, the rest of the report is a compilation of Public Service Commission reports.
West Virginia's electricity rates are among the Nation's lowest. Sections 1 and 2
show how West Virginia electricity utilities compare with each other and other states. Data
provided in Table 1 of Section 1 is summarized in the Figure A below, which shows how
residential electricity rates compare among 17 regional power companies (5 WV companies, 2 KY
companies, 2 MD companies, 3 OH companies, 2 PA companies and 3 VA companies).
Rank of West Virginia Residential Power Rates Among 17 Regional Utilities
As of April 1, 1998
(1 lowest rate; 17 highest rate)
|Electric Utility||600 Kwh||1,500 Kwh||2,500 Kwh|
|Appalachian Power (American Electric Power)||2||3||3|
|Monongahela Power (Allegheny Power)||9||11||11|
|Potomac Edison (Allegheny Power)||4||9||9|
|West Virginia Power||13||14||14|
|Wheeling Power (American Electric Power)||7||5||6|
The West Virginia's natural gas rates are somewhat higher than those of many other states. Sections 1 and 2 show how West Virginia gas utilities compare with each other and other states. Data provided in Table 2 of Section 1 is summarized in the Figure B below, which shows how residential natural gas rates compare among 19 regional gas companies (5 WV companies, 2 KY companies, 2 MD companies, 5 OH companies, 2 PA companies and 3 VA companies).
Table 5 of Section 1 shows that as of April 1, 1998, West Virginia's Mountaineer Gas Company's rate was the 27th lowest residential rate of the 46 states (counting the District of Columbia as a state) participating in the survey. However, as is the case with the PSC's electricity analysis discussed above, this methodology uses the lowest West Virginia rate for comparison to other states, but does not likewise identify the lowest rate for other states, skewing the comparison in West Virginia's favor. Using U.S. Department of Energy data supplied in Section 2, West Virginia had the 37th lowest residential rate in 1995, the 42nd lowest commercial rate, the 10th lowest industrial rate and the 10th lowest vehicle fuel rate of all 50 states and the District of Columbia.
Rank of West Virginia Residential Natural Gas Rates Among 19 Regional Utilities
As of April 1, 1998
(1 lowest rate; 19 highest rate)
|Natural Gas Utility||Rate per 30 Mcf|
|Equitable Gas Company||19|
|Hope Gas, Inc.||10|
|Mountaineer Gas Company||5|
|West Virginia Power Gas Service||12|
Because of the numerous providers of water and sewer utilities, a comprehensive interstate rate comparison is not available. However, as evidenced by the tremendous rate disparity of West Virginia water utilities as shown in Sections 3 and 4 (same data sorted by rate rank and alphabetical order), an interstate comparison based on a calculated state average would be of limited value. As of July 1, 1998, cost per 4,500 gallons of water ranged incredibly from just $1.94 (SC Water and Sewer, Inc.) to $56.50 (Jefferson Utilities, Inc.), among 458 water utilities. Reasons for this disparity likely include items such as the scale of the utility, condition of the water prior to treatment, quality of the water following treatment and compliance with standards, terrain, level of maintenance, type of utility (public/private), population density of the service area, regional wages, condition of infrastructure/leakage, service measurement/rate determination methodology and other factors.
Like water rates, sewer rates are especially varied among the State's utilities. As shown in Sections 5 and 6 (same data sorted by rate rank and alphabetical order), intrastate sewer rates ranged from $1.25 (Kermit Municipal Sewerage System) to $70.80 (Jefferson Utilities, Inc.), among 336 sewer utilities. Reasons for this disparity likely include items such as the scale of the utility, quality of the sewage treatment and compliance with standards, terrain, level of maintenance, type of utility (public/private), population density of the service area, regional wages, service measurement/rate determination methodology and other factors.