The PSC also ruled previously that the company could use the bond sale to recover about $22.7 million in outstanding power costs owed by the shuttered Century Aluminum plant in Ravenswood.
While still significant, $64 million in non-fuel related costs is less than the $103 million in other non-fuel related debts the companies originally asked to recover in the case.
Harris said while it's unfortunate consumers still have to pay for these costs, the bond sale seems to be the best strategy given the available options.
"Once you determine that there's this big chunk of money we owe the company, then the question is what's the best way to pay back that debt," he said. "I think that's what this accomplishes."
Harris estimated that by issuing bonds rather than continuing to go through the ENEC process, the companies will save ratepayers about $35 million this year.
"It would reduce a 1,000 kilowatt hour-per-month bill by almost $2 a month," he said.
However, consumers might not see such decreases on their bills.
That's because the PSC is considering other rate hike cases this year.
The first involves Appalachian Power's plan to purchase additional portions of the John Amos power plant in Poca and the Mitchell power plant in Ohio. The company could spend about $1 billion on the purchases.
The PSC also has ordered the power companies to come up with new tree-trimming programs - a response to the power outages that followed the June 29 derecho. Power companies are to submit the plans and their additional costs to the PSC later this year.
Harris said it's likely rate increases resulting from those cases would counteract any reduction in rates caused by the sale of bonds.
"At the end of the day, it's not clear that anybody's going to see an actual rate decrease," he said. "Maybe lower than it would otherwise be, but we'll see."
An Appalachian Power spokeswoman did not respond to a request for comment on the bond case.
The Public Service Commission has retained a financial adviser to review the proposed settlement and bond sale. Once that adviser reviews the proposal, commissioners will schedule a public hearing on the plan.
Pending the outcome of that review and the hearing, the commission will either accept the plan or recommend further changes.
Contact writer Jared Hunt at busin...@dailymail.com or 304-348-4836.