West Virginia's Coal Dependence Drives Up Consumer Electric Bills

West Virginia’s Coal Dependence Drives Up Consumer Electric Bills

HUNTINGTON, W.VA.—Coal used to keep utility rates low in West Virginia. More recently, it has caused them to rise faster than in most other states.

Jason Zeigler said his monthly electricity bill for his 2,000-square-foot, four-bedroom house on a hilly street just outside this city on the Ohio River hit $368.91 this spring. Like his neighbors, Mr. Zeigler said he has spent thousands of dollars to buy more efficient appliances, adding insulation to his attic and switching to lightbulbs that use less energy. His bills are still rising in a state that generates 91% of its electricity from coal, more than any other state.

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