AEP / Energy

Ohio Consumers’ Counsel: PUCO should deny AEP request to increase capacity charges, collect deferred costs

COLUMBUS — “AEP’s new proposal for higher capacity charges is based on its claims that the Company will be financially harmed by the PUCO’s decision to reject the settlement. But AEP’s recent financial results in Ohio reveal a different story.

In February 2011, the Supreme Court of Ohio held in a 7-0 decision that AEP was improperly given permission by the PUCO to retroactively collect $63 million from customers as part of its rate plan that covered 2009-2011. The Court also said the plan included more than $500 million in charges that were not supported by the evidence presented to the PUCO. Only a small portion of those charges were later returned to customers by order of the PUCO. And AEP’s Columbus Southern Power utility earned profits that eclipsed the PUCO-determined significantly excessive earnings threshold of 17.6 percent in 2009, resulting in the utility being required to return $43 million to customers. Earnings also could surpass the PUCO’s threshold for excess earnings for 2010 and 2011.

Allowing AEP to increase the capacity charges that its competitors must pay will harm the competition that can provide customers in Ohio with lower electricity prices. AEP’s proposal is contrary to state policies put in place to ensure reasonably priced retail electric service and a diversity of electricity supplies and suppliers, the OCC said in its filing.”

— press release, Ohio Consumers’ Counsel

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