AEP Ohio, an American Electric Power (Nasdaq: AEP) company, today filed with the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) an agreement detailing new base rates for electric distribution service and outlining commitments to continue improving electric delivery service to its customers. AEP Ohio and 13 others have signed on to this settlement, including the PUCO staff, the Office of the Ohio Consumers’ Counsel, large industrial customer groups as well as commercial customers including Kroger Co. and Walmart, and the Ohio Hospital Association have negotiated this settlement. AEP Ohio last updated its base rates in 2011.
Based on AEP Ohio’s initial request from June 2020, the settlement, including certain separate distribution programs, results in a decrease of $0.71 for a residential customer using 1,000 kWh per month compared to the $5.68 increase requested in the application. Also included in the settlement is an increase in the monthly customer charge to $10 per month from $8.40. Reductions in other rates offset changes to the customer charge.
The agreement enables AEP Ohio to expand and continue several programs it has put in place to address reliability and resiliency. Under the terms of the agreement, AEP Ohio will invest over the next four years in improvements that help prevent power outages, make restoring service safer and faster, and help the electric grid operate more efficiently.
“This last year has stressed the importance of providing reliable electric service to our customers and AEP Ohio employees have risen to the challenge,” said Raja Sundararajan, AEP Ohio president and chief operating officer. “While the economy is still recovering from the effects of the pandemic, we have worked to ensure that we continue to deliver the reliable electric service customers need as efficiently and safely as possible. The agreement we have reached will allow us to continue our work to improve the reliability of the electric grid while offering innovative products and services to our customers.”
The agreement also includes additional customer benefits from these initiatives:
- AEP Ohio also provides streetlight service to cities, townships and other local governments. Over the next five years, these AEP Ohio-owned streetlights will be converted to LED fixtures. LED lights are more efficient, offer more control over lighting levels and other smart lighting features. The change to LEDs will reduce energy use and costs.
- Electric vehicle (EV) drivers also benefit from a new charging program that provides reduced rates for charging EVs at times when demand is low. These rates help shift charging to off-peak hours, better utilizing the electric grid for all customers and encourage the electrification of the transportation sector.
- A new renewable Distributed Generation pilot provides benefits to customers generating their own electricity and encourages the use of renewable energy resources. The program will be available to primary voltage customers with 1-5 megawatts of onsite renewable generation.
The reliability of AEP Ohio’s service has improved over the last several years, according to several industry measures. Tree trimming, tree removal, and other programs that ensure electric lines remain clear have helped significantly reduce outages. Since AEP Ohio has initiated four-year tree trimming cycles, outages from trees within the company’s rights of way have dropped 80%. This agreement continues these programs and allows AEP Ohio to work with landowners to remove trees that might cause an outage, but are not on AEP Ohio property.
The PUCO must review and approve the agreement filed today. New rates will become effective 14 days after the PUCO issues a decision adopting the settlement.
About AEP Ohio
AEP Ohio is based in Gahanna, Ohio, and is a unit of American Electric Power. AEP Ohio provides electricity to nearly 1.5 million customers. News and information about AEP Ohio can be found at AEPOhio.com.
American Electric Power, based in Columbus, Ohio, is focused on building a smarter energy infrastructure and delivering new technologies and custom energy solutions to our customers. AEP’s approximately 16,800 employees operate and maintain the nation’s largest electricity transmission system and more than 223,000 miles of distribution lines to efficiently deliver safe, reliable power to nearly 5.5 million regulated customers in 11 states. AEP also is one of the nation’s largest electricity producers with approximately 30,000 megawatts of diverse generating capacity, including more than 5,300 megawatts of renewable energy. AEP’s family of companies includes utilities AEP Ohio, AEP Texas, Appalachian Power (in Virginia and West Virginia), AEP Appalachian Power (in Tennessee), Indiana Michigan Power, Kentucky Power, Public Service Company of Oklahoma, and Southwestern Electric Power Company (in Arkansas, Louisiana, east Texas and the Texas Panhandle). AEP also owns AEP Energy, AEP Energy Partners, AEP OnSite Partners, and AEP Renewables, which provide innovative competitive energy solutions nationwide. For more information, visit aep.com.