ROANOKE, Va., November 14, 2011 – For most of this winter Appalachian Power’s Virginia electric rates will be about 10 percent lower than they were last year.  A cheaper electric rate could translate into even lower monthly electric bills if outdoor temperatures cooperate and customers take three steps – maintain their heating system, eliminate air leaks and sign up for the Average Monthly Payment Plan.

“The electric rate and customer usage are the two main components to a customers’ electric bill,” said Jaime Beckelhimer, Appalachian Power customer services manager. “Although the rate reflects the cost of service, customers do have a lot of say in controlling their usage. They also control how they choose to pay their bills.”

Electric Rates

Appalachian Power’s two most recent rate changes implemented in Virginia have been decreases: expiration of a surcharge that captured certain environmental expenses in January and implementation of a base rate change and a lower fuel factor in August 2010.

Appalachian Power’s typical residential electric rate in Virginia is 9.5 cents per kilowatt-hour (kWh). No significant change in this rate is anticipated until February or March when the most severe winter weather likely will have passed. There are rate increase requests pending, but if they are all approved the rate will return to about 10.5 cents/kWh, comparable to what it was for most of 2010.


Electric Usage

Although outdoor temperatures often dictate how hard heating systems work over the winter, customers ultimately control the thermostat setting, which significantly affects how much electricity is used to heat the home. Some customers like it hot in the winter and that costs more. Appalachian recommends a winter heating setting of 68 degrees Fahrenheit. 

Heating Equipment  

Colder outdoor temperatures require heating equipment to work longer and harder and that increases electricity usage. The equipment works harder when warm air seeps out of a home or cold air seeps in through inadequately insulated ceilings and walls, and through doors and windows.

Of course, the efficiency of the heating system is important, too. High-efficiency heat pumps save money because they use less energy to create heat than other options. Electric furnaces or space heaters are the least efficient electric heating options and can be quite expensive.

Improperly working heating equipment is also a reason customers often get a high electric bill. Appalachian Power customer services employees report that the top five heat pump problems that lead to a high electric bill are low refrigerant, a unit stuck in defrost, a blocked air filter, faulty or leaking duct work, and an improperly set digital thermostat. 

Managing your bill   

Customers have the ultimate say in how they pay their bill. They can choose to pay a bill that reflects their actual monthly usage and can be quite higher in winter months, or they can sign up for a plan that spreads the payment for higher usage months out over a longer period.

 Appalachian Power encourages customers to sign up for the Average Monthly Payment (AMP) Plan. AMP levels monthly payments because the customer pays a monthly amount equal to a 12-month rolling average usage.

Appalachian Power has almost 1 million customers in Virginia, West Virginia and Tennessee (as AEP Appalachian Power). It is a unit of American Electric Power, one of the largest electric utilities in the United States, which delivers electricity to more than 5 million customers in 11 states. AEP ranks among the nation’s largest generators of electricity, owning nearly 38,000 megawatts of generating capacity in the U.S. AEP also owns the nation’s largest electricity transmission system, a nearly 39,000-mile network that includes more 765 kilovolt extra-high voltage transmission lines than all other U.S. transmission systems combined. 


Todd Burns
Corporate Communications
(540) 985-2912
Cell: (540) 798-2686

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Privacy Policy

Privacy Policy for Appalachian Power, a unit of American Electric Power (AEP)


This Privacy Policy applies only to AppalachianPower.com and the Appalachian Power customer mobile app (com.aep.customerapp.apco). Other AEP websites and apps may be governed by their own privacy policies, appropriate to the uses and needs of each. Throughout the site or app, we may provide links to resources and sites that are not part of AppalachianPower.com or the Appalachian Power customer mobile app. This Privacy Policy does not apply to those resources and sites.


By using this site or app, you consent to the terms of this Privacy Policy. Whenever you submit information via this site or app, you agree to the collection, use, and disclosure of that information in accordance with this Privacy Policy.

Information Collected

  1. Passively collected information

    During your use of this site or app, we may collect anonymous information about your visit here through the use of server logs, cookies, scripts, tracking pixels and other Web traffic tracking systems. This information is aggregated and used to improve user experience through analysis of user activities. This information is never combined with any of the personally identifiable information you may provide in your use of the features of this site or app.
  2. Personally identifiable information

    On certain forms of this site or app, you may be asked to provide information about yourself or your account with us, either to identify yourself to us or to request a service from us. In each case, we will inform you what information is provided at your option and what information is required to complete the transaction or activity you are engaged in. If you are unwilling to provide this required information, you will be unable to complete the requested transaction.

Use and disclosure of information

The information you provide to us will be used to respond to requests you may make for services. Some or all of this information may be added to your permanent account record and may be used for research purposes.

In addition, we may use elements of this information in the following situations:

  1. We may transfer the information to Appalachian Power’s affiliates and subsidiaries, unless such transfer is prohibited by law;
  2. We may transfer the information as part of a merger, consolidation, acquisition, divestiture or other corporate restructuring (including bankruptcy);
  3. We may make the information available to third parties who are providing the product, service or information that you have requested (but not your password);
  4. We may make such information available to third parties who are providing services to Appalachian Power (for example, providing the information to third parties performing computer-related services for Appalachian Power);
  5. We may use the information to communicate with you about products and services that may be of interest to you.
  6. We may disclose the information if we form a good-faith belief that disclosure of such information is necessary to investigate, prevent, or take action regarding any illegal activities or regarding interference with the operation of our site or violation of its terms of use; or
  7. We may disclose the information if we believe that disclosure is required by law or regulation or in response to a subpoena or other order of a court or other governmental agency.

Appalachian Power uses Flurry Analytics Service (provided by Yahoo) in order to improve its mobile apps. Flurry’s privacy policy governs the use of this information.

Also, Appalachian Power reserves the right to share any aggregated information (i.e., non-personally identifiable information) with any third parties for any reason, unless prohibited by law.

We will not sell, rent or otherwise disclose the information we gather about you or your account to any third party, except as outlined in this Privacy Policy.


Appalachian Power takes reasonable steps to protect your personally identifiable information as it is transferred to us, through the use of Web technologies such as the Secure Sockets Layer and others. However, no Internet transmission of information is ever completely secure or error-free. In particular, e-mail sent to or from Appalachian Power may not be secure.

How to Reach Us

If you would like to update your personally identifiable information or if you have questions about this privacy policy, please contact us.

Changes to This Policy

Appalachian Power reserves the right to change this Privacy Policy at any time. If this Privacy Policy changes, the revised policy will be posted to this site. Please review this Privacy Policy before you provide any personally identifiable information through this site. Use of our web site after the posting of a revised privacy policy constitutes your consent to the revised policy.

This policy was last revised on December 13, 2017.

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