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AEP Ohio Passes ‘Investment’ Fees in Electric Grid Onto Their Customers

The company continues to gouge its customers due to its aging infrastructure

On Sept. 6, 2023, AEP Ohio informed its customers of another rate hike, despite its statements to the media that it is committed to helping its members save money.

"Today, we filed an Electric Security Plan agreement with the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) that continues our commitment to improving reliability, fostering innovation and offering new programs to help customers reduce energy usage and save money," said the company in a statement to customers. "We heard your feedback during the community comment period and have worked with numerous organizations to reach an agreement that balances affordability with providing the resources needed to keep the power flowing as our communities continue to grow."

AEP Ohio, which has increased rates by almost 40 percent to some customers in the past six months, said that, if approved as filed, its average customer using 1,000 kWh of electricity would see an average annual increase of less than one percent — or about $1.50 — per month beginning after June 2024.

Should the PUCO approve the agreement AEP Ohio, here is what is said its customers could expect:

  • Improved Reliability and Resiliency: The agreement will allow AEP Ohio to invest more than $1.5 billion in our distribution grid over the four-year ESP term beginning in June 2024 to address aging infrastructure and serve new customers in growing communities across our service territory.
  • Tree Maintenance Program: Fallen trees and branches are one of the main causes of power outages. Our planned investment will allow us to continue our four-year trim cycle to keep power lines free of trees and help reduce outages both inside and outside of the right-of-way.
  • Changes in the Standard Service Offer Bidding Process: In June of this year, AEP Ohio customers who had not chosen an alternative electric supplier, or who were not enrolled in a government aggregation program, experienced a significant increase in their generation rate as a result of the auction process. The ESP also includes enhancements to the Standard Service Offer (SSO) auction process designed to produce more stable SSO generation rates.
  • Smart Thermostat Demand Response Program: Additionally, customers will be eligible to receive rebates if they participate in a smart thermostat demand response program, which will provide residential customers with a $75 incentive toward the purchase of a new qualifying smart thermostat or a $50 enrollment incentive for residential customers with existing qualifying smart thermostats.
  • Time of Day (Off Peak) EV Charging Rates: Electric vehicle charging is also made more efficient by the settlement, offering EV owners with charging equipment at home the chance to save up to 70 percent off their distribution charges by charging their vehicles between 12 a.m. and 4 a.m., an inconvenient time for most consumers.
  • Economic Development Grants: AEP Ohio will make $900,000 annually in grants available to economically disadvantaged and rural communities with 50% of the funding provided by AEP shareholders. We will work with state, regional and local development partners and private sector leaders to promote investment and bring new jobs to these communities.
What's Next, According to AEP Ohio:

The agreement will now be extensively reviewed by the PUCO for approval. According to AEP Ohio, customers will not see a change on their bills from the agreement until after June 2024, when the new ESP term begins.

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