AEP / Energy / Fixed Rate Hikes

Critics say Ohio utility’s proposed fixed charge increase will slow efficiency, clean energy

The AEP building in Columbus, Ohio. Photo by Mark Cameron / Creative Commons

COLUMBUS — “Proposed rate changes for American Electric Power’s Ohio utility customers could unduly burden the grid by discouraging energy efficiency and distributed generation, according to critics.

At issue is AEP’s proposal to increase fixed charges for its Ohio utility customers by more than twice the current rate—from $8.40 per month to $18.40 per month by 2018. An evidentiary hearing in the case is currently set to start on June 6.

…As critics see it, the wrong price signal would hamper adoption of technologies that can benefit the grid.

…Maintaining or increasing incentives for energy efficiency and distributed energy also has “a direct environmental and public health benefit,’ [Trish Demeter at the Ohio Environmental Council] noted.

‘That’s important in Ohio because we still have about 60 percent of our electricity coming from coal-fired power plants, which are just churning out unlimited amounts of carbon dioxide emissions and other air pollution that causes asthma and other health problems,’ Demeter said. ‘If we have the tools in the tool box to reduce the reliance on those coal-fired power plants, then we should do it.'”

— Kathiann M Kowalski, Midwest Energy News

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