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AEP Ohio 2020 Base Rate Case

In a 2018 settlement, AEP Ohio committed to filing a base rate case with the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) by June 1, 2020. The case lays out proposals to continue modernizing the grid. However we understand that the COVID-19 crisis has impacted our customers in many ways. Because of the financial hardship many are facing, we’re requesting a temporary delay of the normal rate case procedural schedule. If the delay is approved, any rate changes would not be effective until mid-2021.

Rate Case At-a-Glance

We last filed for a base rate case in January 2011. The review process is driven by PUCO and examines the costs for the system that delivers power to you — from the electric poles and wires to the substations and associated maintenance.

As part of the rate case process, we’ve evaluated customer needs, technological advancements in the utility space and more. As you might expect, we’ve identified a number of opportunities for us to continue to provide added value and improved service for our customers.

Benefits For You

It's all about keeping the power flowing to homes and businesses across Ohio and improving your service. The additional investment would mean:

  • A smarter, more resilient grid
  • More reliable electric service
  • More control over how you use energy
  • Residential customer credit card payment options without incurring additional processing fees

These investments will enable updates in technology, infrastructure, and programs that will modernize the grid, drive energy efficiency, and - over time - save you, our customers, time and money.

What’s Next

If approved, the adjusted rate would result in an average base rate increase of approximately $2.20 per month for the average residential customer using 1,000 kilowatt hours per month. We recognize in this unprecedented time of economic uncertainty, even a small increase to a utility bill could be a burden for many families in our state. That’s why we’ve also filed a 60-day extension with PUCO to delay the normal timeline of review. Customers are likely not to see any adjustment in their base rate until, at the earliest, mid-2021.

At the end of the day, our mission is to keep the lights on and power flowing in Ohio. With these needed improvements, we can continue and improve upon our reliability work.

Comments can be shared with the PUCO.

In a 2018 agreement between AEP Ohio and several others, we committed to filing a case to update the base rates for providing electric service by June 1, 2020. In light of the uncertainty the COVID-19 pandemic has created, we are also requesting that the PUCO delay the procedural schedule of the case by 60-days to avoid placing additional stress on our customers.

We have asked the PUCO to delay the rate case procedural schedule so we can minimize the impact to customers while the state recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic. Ohio doesn’t have a strict schedule for base rate cases, but it is likely that customers will not see any rate impact until mid-2021 at the earliest.

The simple answer is you will have more reliable service and more control over how you use energy. We will continue to replace aging equipment and upgrade it to smarter more efficient technology. The efficiency savings helps keep your energy costs down and the technology also helps us restore outages faster when they happen. But technology can’t stop a tree from taking down a wire, so we also plan to continue investing in trimming trees that are a threat to power lines. All of this work helps us keep your lights on.

Rate cases are standard practice for public utilities in the United States where utilities commissions review operations information and financial data. In Ohio, the PUCO reviews this information, takes input from interested groups and consumers, and determines a reasonable base rate for customers.

Base rates reflect the cost of delivering electricity to our customers, and inform the cost paid by our customers. These costs pay for the distribution system – the poles, wires and substations you see in your community – along with all of the costs it takes to keep this system running. These costs include reading meters, producing bills and customer service activities.

Our proposal would result in a monthly increase of $2.20 for an average residential customer using 1,000 kilowatt hours of electricity per month.

For all of our customers, our focus will continue to be on improving reliability. We want to keep the lights on and power flowing in Ohio. Proposed improvements will build on existing practices - like technology, equipment upgrades and tree trimming - as well as programs like AEP Ohio’s gridSMART that gives customers more control of their energy usage. In doing so, we can help reduce costs and make the grid more efficient.

We also want to be responsive to consumer demand. One example is an investment in Electric Vehicle charging. We have seen growth in demand for EV charging and we have to be sure that we are using the grid efficiently as charging demands increase. Our plan includes new programs that will help us balance these demands, encourage the continued expansion of EVs in large fleets, and ensure that travelers have access to charging along highways and other busy roads.

We are also asking the PUCO to allow residential customers to pay their bill using a credit card without having to pay additional processing fees. This additional fee-free payment option is something we know is important to our customers.

The PUCO reviews all base rate adjustment requests and we work with their staff to provide a complete accounting of our expenses and costs. During the process, the public will have the opportunity to provide input through hearings and by offering comments. Once the information has been reviewed, the staff will prepare a report for the five commissioners.

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