May 30, 2023 - News

AEP Ohio electricity bills are going up

Illustration of an electrical plug and cord forming the shape of a dollar sign.

Illustration: Gabriella Turrisi/Axios

AEP Ohio customers will pay more to stay cool this summer, with standard bills expected to increase by about 28% starting Thursday.

Driving the news: Rising demand and energy prices worldwide are making it more expensive for power plants to generate electricity — a cost they charge to providers like AEP Ohio, which then pass it on to customers.

  • AEP spokesperson Scott Blake tells Axios the increased cost to consumers is the "dollar for dollar" increased price they're facing.

Be smart: Energy is deregulated in Ohio, meaning customers can shop around for electricity providers that offer the best prices.

  • If your city offers an aggregation program to pool together customers, like one Columbus voters approved in 2020, it could save you money.

Zoom in: After Thursday's rate hike, an average customer (using 900 kwH monthly) could save about $35 a month through Clean Energy Columbus' aggregation program, Sustainable Columbus assistant director Erin Beck tells Axios.

  • Some of Clean Energy Columbus' rates fund a grant that supports local workforce development and sustainability initiatives.

State of play: 73% of eligible customers, about 187,000, are currently participating, Beck says.

  • Anyone who lives in Columbus and is an AEP Ohio customer is eligible.
  • Call 1-888-307-0264 to opt in or out at any time.

The big picture: Other local communities offering aggregation include Hilliard, Grove City and Worthington.

How it works: Electric bills have three parts: generation, transmission and distribution.

  • Generation is what's becoming more expensive — but that price varies among providers, who bid on energy generated at power plants across the U.S. and pass those costs along to customers.

Of note: If an AEP Ohio customer joins a government aggregation program or picks a different provider, they continue receiving bills from AEP Ohio, because it still handles transmission and distribution to homes.

What we're watching: The Public Utilities Commission of Ohio hosted hearings last week on another potential AEP Ohio price hike for 2024 to improve equipment and power lines.

  • Commissioners will make a decision later this year.

💡 Pro tips: How to reduce energy usage at home, according to AEP Ohio and Energy Choice Ohio, and details on bill payment assistance and other help.

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