Virginia Ranked Top State for Business - CNBC's Top States for Business, 2019 

The APCo VA Region

AEP operates as Appalachian Power Company (APCo) to serve electricity to half a million customers in our 11,000 square-mile territory in central and southwestern Virginia. Spanning 31 counties, our economic development team can help you explore many attractive communities in the region for investment.

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Advantages of Doing Business in Virginia

Location & Infrastructure

  • 58% of the U.S. population and 56% of the Canadian population is within one day’s truck drive
  • The state has 1,119 miles of interstate – one of the top 15 largest in the nation
  • APCo-Virginia territory includes direct access to three major U.S. interstates – I-81, I-77, and I-64
  • Easy access to the Port of Virginia in Norfolk, the Port of Richmond, and the Virginia Inland Port in Front Royal


Business Climate

  • 73 firms with annual sales of at least $500M are headquartered in VirginiaText_BusFirstValues
  • There is a 6% corporate income tax that has not increased in over 40 years
  • 5.3% Sales and Use Tax; manufacturers do not pay tax on purchases used for production; distributors do not pay tax on items purchased for resale
  • Minimized payroll costs with one of the lowest worker’s compensation costs in the nation and a low unemployment insurance tax rate that is 12% lower than the national average
  • Favorable business environment that protects “at will” and “right-to-work” employment practices
  • The state offers a variety of performance-based incentives, from tax credits to tax exemption, available to new and expanding businesses
  • Building costs in AEP-served cities Roanoke and Lynchburg are 15% lower than the national average

Workforce & Education

Pie Chart of Virginia's Sectors of Employment

  • Virginia successfully supports its substantial industry base with highly skilled and educated talent
  • Virginia is a right-to-work state – At 6.2%, Virginia has the ninth lowest unionization rate in the country
  • Virginia has the 3rd highest concentration of tech workers in the nation in 2015, with nearly 1 in 10 workers in tech
  • Approximately 22,000 doctoral scientists and engineers are employed in Virginia—one of the highest concentrations in the nation
  • Approximately 575,000 students are enrolled in over 100 in-state institutions of higher education
  • Virginia Tech, an Appalachian Power customer, is ranked in the top 25 best engineering, business, and public affairs schools in 2014 by US News
  • Worker availability in key occupations:
Table of Workers (2015)
Jobs Average Hourly Earnings
STEM 316,162  $42.68
Engineers 50,963  $45.10
Business 283,582  $35.40
Automotive Production 82,168  $15.77
Source: EMSI 2017.2


Electric Service

  • Our competitive industrial rates are in line with state and national averages

Bar Chart APCo Virginia Industrial Rates

  • New customers with over a 1,000 kW load can receive an economic development rate that reduces their demand rate charge by 25% each year for first five years of operation
  • We are vertically integrated for distribution, transmission, and generation with 30,935 miles of distribution and 2,874 miles of transmission line
  • APCo owns 7,407 MW of generating capacity
    • Coal: 65.5%
    • Natural Gas: 19.4%
    • Hydro, Wind, Solar & Pump: 15.1%
  • Our system boasts generation capacity to accommodate large industrial users

Virginia is recognized as a leading state in economic development.

  • #2 for Workforce – CNBC Top States for Business, 201
  • #2 for Regulatory Environment – Forbes Best States for Business, 201
  • #3 for Labor Supply – Forbes Best States for Business, 2017
  • #4 for Best Business Climate – Business Facilities Magazine, 2017
  • #5 for Best State for Business – Forbes Best States for Business, 2017
  • #7 for Workforce Training Program – Business Facilities Magazine, 2017
  • #7 for Business Friendliness – CNBC Top States for Business, 2017
  • #8 Most Economic Development Projects Overall – Site Selection Magazine’s Governor’s Cup, 2016
  • #8 for Quality of Life – Forbes Best States for Business, 2017
  • #10 Most Economic Development ProjectsPer Capita – Site Selection Magazine’s Governor’s Cup, 2016
  • #10 for Workforce Training Program – Business Facilities Magazine, 2017

Our key customers in Virginia include:

  • Alpha Natural Resources, Inc.
  • Carilion Health Systems
  • Consol Energy
  • Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company
  • Greif Brothers Corporation
  • Koch Industries, Inc.
  • Parkdale Mills, Inc.
  • Roanoke Cement Company, LLC
  • Steel Dynamics, Inc.
  • SunCoke Energy

The principal industries we support are:

  • Advanced Manufacturing/Technology Firms
  • Food and Beverage Products
  • Furniture/Wood Products
  • Medical Facilities and Research
  • Mining Industries
  • Plastic and Packaging Products
  • Steel Products
  • Transportation


John Smolak

John Smolak

Director of Economic and Business Development

Appalachian Power Company


Email Me

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