GAHANNA, Ohio — AEP Ohio, an American Electric Power (Nasdaq: AEP) company, is encouraging customers to prepare for this summer’s energy bills. A combination of higher energy use during the summer and higher generation supply prices could lead to large increases in customer bills beginning in June. The Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) recently accepted the results of the Standard Service Offer (SSO) auction that sets the per-kilowatt-hour price of generation supply provided to AEP Ohio customers who do not choose an electric generation supplier. The PUCO's Finding and Order can be viewed here.
Under Ohio law, AEP Ohio customers can choose their electric generation supplier. Customers who do not choose a supplier receive their electricity through the SSO. The price of electricity provided through the SSO is determined annually through an auction process overseen by the PUCO. By law, AEP Ohio passes that cost on to customers with no markup and no profit on the electricity provided through the SSO.
The results of the auction will lead to an increase in the price customers pay for the generation portion of their bill beginning in June 2023. A typical residential customer using 1,000 kilowatt-hours of energy each month can expect their total bill to increase about 28% from today’s typical bill of about $155 to about $198. These rates will be in effect until May 2024.
“When the new generation supply rates take effect in June, impacted customers will see a noticeable increase in their bills. We want to let customers know about these changes now so they can begin to prepare,” said Marc Reitter, AEP Ohio president and chief operating officer. “Customers who are struggling financially may qualify for assistance programs or payment plans. Our team is here to help connect customers with programs and resources and we encourage them to reach out if they need assistance.”
There are three parts to a typical electric bill: distribution, transmission and generation. Distribution and transmission rates are set through a process where regulators review the costs and investments companies like AEP Ohio make in the wires and substations that deliver electricity to customers.
Ohio’s electric generation market was deregulated in 2001. Under deregulation, AEP Ohio is not allowed to own power plants and the price customers pay for the generation portion of their bill is either set by the supplier they choose or is determined through the market-based auction process. Customers can compare current offers from electric generation suppliers at energychoice.ohio.gov.
Payment Options & Assistance
With the impacts of inflation and rising costs across many industries, we understand some customers may be experiencing financial hardship. AEP Ohio offers a variety of programs and resources that can help, including:
- Payment Extensions: Get a little more time to pay with a one-time extension.
- Monthly Payment Plans: Request a monthly payment plan to pay off your balance in full.
- Neighbor to Neighbor: Our Neighbor to Neighbor Program provides direct assistance to qualifying customers. The program is funded through donations from customers that are matched dollar-for-dollar by AEP Ohio. Eligible customers can receive a credit toward their energy bill.
- Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program: Eligible customers can receive federally-funded assistance to help manage energy costs.
- Ohio’s Percentage of Income Payment Plan: This plan helps make monthly payments more affordable and sets up an on-time and in-full payment plan that reduces your outstanding balance.
- Average Monthly Payment Plan: Enroll to spread the cost of cooling and heating your home over the entire year, helping balance your electric bills and making it easier to budget.
For more information, visit AEPOhio.com/Assistance or call our Customer Solutions Team at 800-672-2231.
Warm Weather Energy Saving Tips
Reducing energy use is another way to lower costs. AEP Ohio customers can save energy with these simple tips:
- Close blinds and curtains to keep the sun out and cool air inside. Keeping window coverings shut during the hottest parts of the day can help reduce your home’s overall temperature.
- Avoid using appliances that produce heat, like ovens and dryers, when it’s hot outside. Unplugging appliances or using smart power strips in your home can also lead to big savings.
- Weatherstrip doors and caulk windows to prevent leaks. Make sure you close all windows and doors when your air conditioner is running.
- Use your ceiling fan and set it to rotate counterclockwise so that it pushes cool air down. This can help make your room feel up to 10 degrees cooler.
- Change the filter on your cooling system. Clean filters can lower the air conditioner’s energy consumption by 5 to 15 percent.
- Adjust your thermostat. One of the most effective ways to reduce cooling costs is to set the temperature a few degrees higher while you’re away or asleep.
Find more tips at AEPOhio.com/Savings.