AEP / Energy

PUCO ‘addressing’ AEP rate hike

COLUMBUS — “While the agency pledges to help small businesses, those in all-electric households are raising concerns about their costs. The new AEP rates do not include a discount to residents who heat with electricity.

Previously, AEP charged its base-generation rate for only the first 800 kilowatt-hours of usage in the cold-weather months. The base rate, which doesn’t include the cost of fuel and other generation charges, was about 3 cents per kilowatt-hour. Since the new system started in January, the base rate is the same for all usage levels.

So, a house that uses 2,500 kilowatt-hours is facing an additional cost of about $50 because of the change. That level of usage likely would occur only at a very large house or an all-electric house. The percentage increase varies, from less than 10 percent for customers who use 1,000 kilowatt-hours to more than 30 percent for houses with unusually high usage.

…The PUCO’s removal of the discount is one part of a large and complicated plan.

The Office of the Ohio Consumers’ Counsel opposed the plan for many reasons, including the loss of the all-electric-home discount, said spokesman Anthony Rodriguez.

‘It’s something our office was against from the beginning,’ he said.”

— Dan Gearino, Columbus Dispatch

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