Duncan Suzuki

Widgetized Section

Go to Admin » Appearance » Widgets » and move Gabfire Widget: Social into that MastheadOverlay zone

Watt, Why and How in Virginia

Terry Hall, from the Roanoke Office of Appalachian Power Company, recently presented a program entitled “Watt, Why & How In Virginia” at a luncheon meeting held in Pulaski Community Hospital’s Eure Educational Building.
Hall addressed three major points: (1) the growing need for electricity and how Appalachian Power is meeting it; (2) Appalachian Power’s rates – where they are, where they’re going and why; and (3) How to save money on your power bill and still have a comfortable lifestyle.
Our nation’s demand for electricity is, not surprisingly, at an all-time high.
Based on past trends, the average customer is projected to use 1,059 kilowatt hours a month by 2030; APCO customers, however, have already passed that projected figure and are now using more than 12-hundred kilowatt hours per month. Some of the major factors contributing to this increase are larger homes, the dramatic increase in the use of air conditioning, more electronic devices than ever, and population growth.
Hall went on to state that, due to this trend, APCO needs to build for growth as well as for retirement of some of the older generating plants. Also required will be more infrastructure to move the power. APCO’s primary fuel source for power generation is coal, and they have two coal-fired plants in Virginia. Water power, also an important part of the generation mix, relies in part on Smith Mountain Lake and Claytor Lake. APCO has recently purchased 300 megawatts of wind energy.
The Virginia State Corporation Commission has denied APCO’s application to build an Integrated Gasification Combined Cycle plant, which would have extremely low emissions and help bring clean coal into the generation mix.
So much coal-fired generation requires a big investment to make sure that it continues to meet all environmental standards. They are installing flue gas desulfurization units, or scrubbers, at some of their plants; these cut sulfur dioxide emissions by up to 95 percent. At the Clinch Valley Plant in Virginia, they are installing selective non-catalytic reduction units to reduce nitrogen oxide emissions at the plant and using a lower sulfur coal mix.
Hall explained that the price of coal from central and northern Appalachian mines increased almost 125% in the first six months of 2008, and prices remain volatile. The prices of all other commodities, such as wood utility poles, copper wire, insulators, etc., are also going up.
Hall stated that the rising costs of electricity are, in summary, necessary for three main reasons: to keep up with volatile prices for coal and fuel; to pay for federally mandated environmental controls; and to finance new transmission and generation needed to keep up with rising demand.
As everyone knows, this fall the Virginia State Corporation Commission approved several separate rate increases for APCO. First, the SCC set a new fuel factor. This is a pass through expense for the fuel used for generation of electricity—there’s no profit for the company. It makes up a third of most customer bills. The increase is about 11% for residential customers, and that is now appearing on customer bills. Second, a surcharge to recover already-incurred environmental and reliability costs, which adds about 1% to your bill, began in January. Finally, the Commission approved a 17% increase in
what APCO calls their “base rates.” Much of this increase is said to be for the huge level of construction expenses to make the air cleaner and keep the existing coal-fired plants on line. This investment, now appearing on customer bills as well, is being made so that APCO will be fully compliant with clean air standards as required by law.
Hall reported on a new APCO service offering in Virginia called the Green Pricing Option, which provides interested customers the opportunity to support the generation of renewable energy. Customers will pay slightly more for this service, because renewable energy is more expensive, but if it’s important to the customer, they should enroll in the Green Pricing Option.
Despite the fact that electricity prices are increasing, Hall and his company believe that electricity is a good value. He stated that, since 1985, the price of electricity in the United States has increased 27%, food 81%, and health care almost 200%. He reported that Appalachian Power customers pay some of the lowest rates for electricity in the nation. The national average is 13 cents per kilowatt hour, while, even with the latest increases, APCO customers pay just about 9 cents per kilowatt hour.

Comments

comments

Watt, Why and How in Virginia

Terry Hall, from the Roanoke Office of Appalachian Power Company, recently presented a program entitled “Watt, Why & How In Virginia” at a luncheon meeting held in Pulaski Community Hospital’s Eure Educational Building.
Hall addressed three major points: (1) the growing need for electricity and how Appalachian Power is meeting it; (2) Appalachian Power’s rates – where they are, where they’re going and why; and (3) How to save money on your power bill and still have a comfortable lifestyle.
Our nation’s demand for electricity is, not surprisingly, at an all-time high.
Based on past trends, the average customer is projected to use 1,059 kilowatt hours a month by 2030; APCO customers, however, have already passed that projected figure and are now using more than 12-hundred kilowatt hours per month. Some of the major factors contributing to this increase are larger homes, the dramatic increase in the use of air conditioning, more electronic devices than ever, and population growth.
Hall went on to state that, due to this trend, APCO needs to build for growth as well as for retirement of some of the older generating plants. Also required will be more infrastructure to move the power. APCO’s primary fuel source for power generation is coal, and they have two coal-fired plants in Virginia. Water power, also an important part of the generation mix, relies in part on Smith Mountain Lake and Claytor Lake. APCO has recently purchased 300 megawatts of wind energy.
The Virginia State Corporation Commission has denied APCO’s application to build an Integrated Gasification Combined Cycle plant, which would have extremely low emissions and help bring clean coal into the generation mix.
So much coal-fired generation requires a big investment to make sure that it continues to meet all environmental standards. They are installing flue gas desulfurization units, or scrubbers, at some of their plants; these cut sulfur dioxide emissions by up to 95 percent. At the Clinch Valley Plant in Virginia, they are installing selective non-catalytic reduction units to reduce nitrogen oxide emissions at the plant and using a lower sulfur coal mix.
Hall explained that the price of coal from central and northern Appalachian mines increased almost 125% in the first six months of 2008, and prices remain volatile. The prices of all other commodities, such as wood utility poles, copper wire, insulators, etc., are also going up.
Hall stated that the rising costs of electricity are, in summary, necessary for three main reasons: to keep up with volatile prices for coal and fuel; to pay for federally mandated environmental controls; and to finance new transmission and generation needed to keep up with rising demand.
As everyone knows, this fall the Virginia State Corporation Commission approved several separate rate increases for APCO. First, the SCC set a new fuel factor. This is a pass through expense for the fuel used for generation of electricity—there’s no profit for the company. It makes up a third of most customer bills. The increase is about 11% for residential customers, and that is now appearing on customer bills. Second, a surcharge to recover already-incurred environmental and reliability costs, which adds about 1% to your bill, began in January. Finally, the Commission approved a 17% increase in
what APCO calls their “base rates.” Much of this increase is said to be for the huge level of construction expenses to make the air cleaner and keep the existing coal-fired plants on line. This investment, now appearing on customer bills as well, is being made so that APCO will be fully compliant with clean air standards as required by law.
Hall reported on a new APCO service offering in Virginia called the Green Pricing Option, which provides interested customers the opportunity to support the generation of renewable energy. Customers will pay slightly more for this service, because renewable energy is more expensive, but if it’s important to the customer, they should enroll in the Green Pricing Option.
Despite the fact that electricity prices are increasing, Hall and his company believe that electricity is a good value. He stated that, since 1985, the price of electricity in the United States has increased 27%, food 81%, and health care almost 200%. He reported that Appalachian Power customers pay some of the lowest rates for electricity in the nation. The national average is 13 cents per kilowatt hour, while, even with the latest increases, APCO customers pay just about 9 cents per kilowatt hour.

Comments

comments

You must be logged in to post a comment Login