AEP / Energy

News release: Office of Consumers’ Counsel wins at Supreme Court on AEP electric security plan, protects customers from unlawful and unreasonable rate increases approved by the PUCO

COLUMBUS — “April 19, 2011 – In a major victory for residential utility customers, the Supreme Court of Ohio today unanimously agreed with the Office of the Ohio Consumers’ Counsel (OCC) that the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) improperly allowed American Electric Power (AEP) to charge customers unlawful and unreasonable rates. The Supreme Court ruled 7-0 in favor of the OCC on three issues the PUCO unlawfully allowed AEP to collect costs that included the utility’s perceived risk to provide default electric service to shopping customers, retroactive rates, and carrying charges on environmental investments.

‘This is a major victory for residential utility customers. It demonstrates the value for customers to have a residential advocate at the PUCO and the Supreme Court of Ohio,’ Consumers’ Counsel Janine Migden-Ostrander said.  ‘Residential customers must have an adequately funded representative to advocate against PUCO decisions which may impose unreasonable and unlawful charges upon consumers.’

The Court accepted the OCC’s and the Industrial Energy Users’ arguments that there was no evidence the $456 million AEP was approved to collect from customers was based on any actual costs it would incur. The OCC argued AEP was overcompensated for the risk it would possibly supply power to customers who return to the utility after shopping for an alternative supplier. This issue will now go back to the PUCO for reconsideration where OCC will seek to prevent further collection of these charges from customers and a potential refund.”

— Anthony Rodriguez, Office of the Ohio Consumer’s Counsel.

Read the whole release

Court faults PUCO on AEP’s rates

But users won’t recoup $63 million in ’09 overcharges

Dan Gearino, The Columbus Dispatch.

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