AEP proposing a rate increase for Ohio residents

AEP is proposing to increase their fixed rate from $8.40 a month to $18.40 a month. (WSYX/WTTE)

If you're an AEP Ohio customer, your electric bill could be going up.

The utility company is proposing to increase their fixed rate from $8.40 a month to $18.40 a month.

The proposal has customer Madeline Shaw asking several questions, "why do they need that? Why not be more incremental? Why not only raise it about 20%. What is the justification?"

In a statement from Marc Reitter, vice president of regulatory and finance for AEP Ohio said, “the change in the fixed customer charge will be offset by decreases in other monthly charges. AEP Ohio continues to support energy efficiency programs, investment in new technologies and renewables.”

"Once it's gets approved, it never gets lowered. So people should speak up,” said Shaw. That’s what she did at a public hearing held by the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio Monday night

The commission will decide on whether to approve or deny the company’s request and there's a lot they have to consider, "the utility companies, the consumers, businesses that might be involved and really understand just how much something like this might impact their daily life,” explained Zachary Hoffman with the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio.

"This would set a precedent if it were approved or denied,” said Rachel Belz. She's the executive director of Ohio Citizen Action.

She says people on fixed and low incomes would be impacted most, "some folks talk about what's going to come out of their personal budget for their family. Some of the fixed income folks, folks who are retired or are about to retire are nervous,” said Belz.

A decision on the proposal isn’t expected to come until the Summer. If it's approved, customers like Shaw will have to make a decision, "I may look around and go with a different supplier. I don't know."

Another hearing on the proposal will be held Tuesday April 25t at 12:30 at 180 E. Broad Street inside

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