COLUMBUS — American Electric Power (AEP) recently rolled out a proposal to increase upfront, mandatory residential fixed fees, called the “customer charge”, from a current $8.40 to $13.40 per month, and another increase in 2018 to $18.40 per month — a whopping 119% increase. This means instead of paying $100.80, customers would pay $220.80 annually, which for many people is like adding a 13th electric bill.
In states like Wisconsin, this approach has led to higher costs, particularly for low-use and – at times – low-income customers, by reducing customers’ ability to control their bill. It eliminates the incentive to conserve energy and purchase more energy efficient appliances because it’s a flat charge you have to pay every month no matter how much energy you use.
In a desperate effort to cover costs in a rapidly changing energy landscape, utilities have proposed these fixed rate charges all over the nation. If they hadn’t banked on coal remaining cheap, they wouldn’t be in the position they’re in.
The good news is, national resistance to these proposals began in 2014 and is gaining momentum. We need to stop this in Ohio right now. All Ohio residential customers must speak out against fixed rate charges, or we’ll see more utilities turn to them to compensate for their bad business decisions to delay the transition to cleaner energy and more efficient energy use.
Please speak out at one of these AEP Fixed Rate Hearings
Monday, April 10, 2017 at 6:00 p.m.
Bucyrus City Hall
500 S. Sandusky Avenue
Bucyrus, Ohio 448220
Thursday, April 13, 2017 at 6:00 p.m.
Washington State Community College
Arts & Science Building
Harvey Graham Auditorium
710 Colegate Drive
Marietta, Ohio 45750
Monday, April 17, 2017 at 6:00 p.m.
Ohio History Center
800 East 17th Avenue
Columbus, Ohio 43211
Tuesday, April 25, 2017 at 12:30 p.m.
80 East Broad Street
Hearing Room 11-B
Columbus, Ohio 43215
Those who testify at the local public hearings will have their comments added to the case record.
Consumers may also submit comments online at www.PUCO.ohio.gov or by mail addressed to 180 E. Broad St., Columbus, OH 43215. Correspondence should include the case number 16-1852-EL-SSO.
An evidentiary hearing is scheduled to commence on June 6, 2017 at 10:00 a.m. at the PUCO offices in Columbus.