Jun 21, 2022 - News

AEP offers some funding help amid power outage fallout

Illustration of a pattern of light switches, all of them turned on except one.

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

Public outrage caused AEP Ohio to help local residents recoup losses suffered in last week's major power outage.

  • But the company is still offering little in the way of direct support to customers who were without power for days amid a scorching heat wave.

Catch up quick: AEP received backlash for its decision to shut down power to hundreds of thousands of Ohioans in an effort to "prevent widespread damage" to the electric grid.

  • Once power was restored, AEP told customers it would not reimburse them for spoiled food ā€” a decision City Council member Rob Dorans called "such BS."
  • AEP then pulled out of the Stonewall Columbus Pride March as part of the fallout.

The latest: AEP now says it has donated $1 million to local organizations that provide housing and food assistance in Central Ohio, including Columbus Urban League, IMPACT Community Action, Lifecare Alliance and the Mid-Ohio Food Collective.

  • It's also promoting an existing program that aids customers with utility bill payments.

Of note: The county can reimburse Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) recipients for spoiled food.

What's ahead: The power issues are hopefully behind us, but we're not done with the repressive heat.

  • The forecast projects we'll top 80 degrees every day through the Fourth of July, including 90+ degrees in three of the next four days, with a heat index in the 100s expected on Wednesday.

Our advice: Stay hydrated, utilize the city's cooling centers and keep an eye on vulnerable members of our community.

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