The Monongalia County Commission has promised to fight against Mon Power and Potomac Edison's proposed energy rate increase for approximately 525,000 customers in West Virginia. On Wednesday, it kept its word and took another step towards trying to prevent energy bills from going up.
The commission drafted a letter petitioning the proposal and sent it to 39 other counties across the state. Commissioners are asking their colleagues statewide to send petition letters of their own.
In addition, a copy was also sent to the Public Service Commission. The PSC has the final say on what kind of rate hike is appropriate. In April, Mon Power and Potomac Edison made the request, which if approved, will increase energy bills for residential customers by approximately 15% per month.
Monongalia County Commissioners believe higher rates might end up costing city's and businesses even more. Officials claim municipalities could see up to a 27% rate hike which at the end of the day would be passed down to individuals. Commissioners are viewing the proposal as unreasonable and unfair.
Bill Bartolo is the Monongalia County Commission President. He said, "What moves government is the people. If we can get enough support from the other counties and people can respond to it hopefully we'll all be successful."
Local residents are saying they're happy to see the commission taking action.
Promise Rollison lives in Morgantown. She said, "I already pay a lot for utilities in this state."
"Any kind of help we can get to help stop that, I feel like it's a good idea," said Marion County resident Ricky Fox.
The Monongalia County Commission will wait for responses from other counties before taking further action.