Government Relations and Regulatory Team Assists Manufacturing Client With Flexible Electricity Rate Arrangement
Bowles Rice earned a victory for the country’s largest producer of silicomanganese, saving the company up to $9 million a year, returning hundreds of employees back to work, and generating more than $187 million annually for the West Virginia economy.
A long-time client of Bowles Rice and one of West Virginia’s largest industrial consumers of electricity, the manufacturer had idled its plant and laid off hundreds of workers due to continuing high manufacturing costs and low prices for its product.
Following successful government relations efforts by Bowles Rice, in 2010 the West Virginia Legislature passed SB 656, granting special rates for energy-intensive consumers under certain circumstances. As a result, Bowles Rice lawyers were able to file a petition for a flexible electricity rate arrangement with the Public Service Commission of West Virginia.
The petition was approved, qualifying the client for a discount off its electric rates in months when their actual gross margin is less than the target; in months above the target, the company pays a premium above its regular rate.
With the PSC’s favorable order, the company was able to restart two idled furnaces and put nearly 200 employees back to work.