Columbus, Ohio (WSYX) — Expect to shell out more money for your electricity this summer. AEP Ohio customers will see a sharp increase in their electric bill beginning in June.
The electric company said higher generation supply prices and increased energy use, especially in the summer, will lead to increases in electric bills for many customers.
A typical customer using 1,000 kilowatt-hours of energy each month can expect their bill to increase 28% from today's typical bill of about $155 a month to $198 a month.
This has organizations like the Urban League scrambling to figure out how to help their clients.
"It's coming and there's nothing we can do about it, but to adjust how we help people to keep them stabilized, that's what we have to concentrate on," said President and CEO of the Columbus Urban League Stephanie Hightower.
AEP's increase is expected to start in June. All coming after a series of auctions where energy suppliers compete for the right to supply your electricity. And right now, the natural gas market is high.
"During the most recent auctions, held in November 2022 and March 2023, the cost of procuring generation supply increased significantly and AEP Ohio is required to pass these costs along to customers," AEP Ohio said. "The results of these two auctions are blended to create the new rate."
International events are having repercussions on the energy market.
"We have global conflict, particularly over in Europe, and that's putting pressure on natural gas prices across the globe. And natural gas is a key fuel for electricity generation here in America," Director of Public Affairs at the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio, Matt Schilling, said.
He says customers have a choice on how they get their electricity. Check out Energychoiceohio.gov for help.
"Consumers can log in and see offers from competitive energy suppliers side by side and decide if there are opportunities to save money or see if they can find all green or renewable energy power," Schilling said.
These new rates will be in effect until May 2024.
The Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) scheduled public hearings regarding AEP Ohio’s pricing.
Additional information on the bill changes can be found here.
For customers already struggling, AEP has assistance programs, and the Columbus Urban League is now looking at new ways to combat the rate hike.
"At least we know what we are going to be dealing with and can find new innovative ways and ways to work with our elected officials and the private sector to help us figure out how to make sure people can be stabilized, stay in their homes and keep their utilities on," Hightower said.
For information on help from AEP and the Columbus Urban League, click on the links.