GAHANNA, Ohio, November 17, 2021 – AEP Ohio, an American Electric Power (Nasdaq: AEP) company, has received approval from the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) for new base rates for electric distribution service. AEP Ohio and 13 others, 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 had submitted to the PUCO an agreement in March 2021 and was approved by the commissioners today.
Under the new rates, residential customers using 1,000 kilowatt-hours per month will see a decrease of $0.71 per month as compared to the rates in the Company’s filing. The monthly customer charge will increase to $10 per month from $8.40. Reductions in other rates offset changes to the customer charge. In addition, there will no longer be a reconnection fee for customers disconnected for nonpayment. New base rates will take effect in 14 days. AEP Ohio last updated its base rates in 2011.
“Over the last decade, the men and women of AEP Ohio have done a lot of extraordinary work to improve the reliability of the service we provide,” said Marc Reitter, AEP Ohio president and chief operating officer. “Working with the Commission staff, the OCC, and many of our largest customers, we have charted a path forward to continue providing safe and electric service. The agreement between the 13 parties recognizes the progress we have made, the work that we still have ahead of us, and holds us accountable for getting the work done.”
The PUCO’s order allows AEP Ohio to expand and continue several programs it has put in place to address reliability and resiliency. 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. The Distribution Investment Rider requires AEP Ohio submit a plan each year to the PUCO outlining how it will improve the reliability of electric service. These plans focus on how the work will maintain and improve safety, address reliability and resiliency, and improve the overall customer experience. The agreement also requires that AEP Ohio achieve certain reliability targets in order to collect the full amount of the funds under the program.
The PUCO also approved new programs that will enhance the services AEP Ohio is able to offer customers. These initiatives include:
- 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%. AEP Ohio will continue these efforts under the approved rates and will continue to work with landowners to remove trees that might cause an outage, but are not on AEP Ohio property.
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 powering a cleaner, brighter energy future for its customers and communities. AEP’s approximately 16,700 employees operate and maintain the nation’s largest electricity transmission system and more than 224,000 miles of distribution lines to safely deliver reliable and affordable power to 5.5 million regulated customers in 11 states. AEP also is one of the nation’s largest electricity producers with approximately 31,000 megawatts of diverse generating capacity, including more than 5,900 megawatts of renewable energy. The company’s plans include growing its renewable generation portfolio to approximately 50% of total capacity by 2030. AEP is on track to achieve an 80% reduction in carbon dioxide emissions from 2000 levels by 2030 and has committed to achieve net zero by 2050. AEP is recognized consistently for its focus on sustainability, community engagement, and diversity, equity and inclusion. 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, which provides innovative competitive energy solutions nationwide. For more information, visit aep.com.