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Environment & Energy

AEP Wants Ohio's OK to More Than Double Standard Charges on Customer Bills

photo of Cathy Cowan
ANDY CHOW
/
STATEHOUSE NEWS BUREAU
Cathy Cowan of Columbus (pictured) looks at her electric utilities bill. AEP recently proposed to increase a line item on those bills by 120 percent.

State energy regulators are looking over a new plan, proposed by AEP, that would allow the utility company to increase rates on customer electric bills. 

AEP is asking to increase a certain line item on electric bills by 120 percent. That customer charge would go up about $10 more a month. Rachel Belz with the advocacy group Ohio Citizen Action notes AEP just tried and failed to raise rates to help its struggling coal plants.

“They just keep reaching right into the pockets of their residential customers,” Belz said.

AEP contends that other charges are dropping so the increase for an average ratepayer will be a dollar and change. But Belz argues the customer charge hike will disproportionately affect lower income customers.