AEP

Duke Energy power lines, energy
Duke Energy

Ohioans could see a new charge in their electric bills as early as June, now that state regulators have approved plans by FirstEnergy and AEP to guarantee income for struggling coal plants. But while opponents are fighting the ruling, those utilities are touting the benefits.

Groups against the so-called coal plant bailout say the ruling from the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio gives AEP and FirstEnergy an unfair competitive advantage.

But AEP President, Pablo Vegas, says his utility needed the ability to charge customers more in order to stabilize costs.

Duke Energy / Flickr Creative Commons

Regulators have approved a pair of deals that allow FirstEnergy and AEP to impose short-term rate increases on electricity customers in Ohio to subsidize some older coal-fired and nuclear power plants.

The Public Utilities Commission of Ohio unanimously passed the power purchase agreements for Akron-based FirstEnergy and Columbus-based AEP Thursday. Opponents are likely to challenge the decisions.

The companies submitted the latest versions of their plans to the commission in December.

New Proposal Aims To Derail Plans For Energy Rate Increase

Jan 14, 2016
Duke Energy power lines, energy
Duke Energy

Independent energy provider Dynegy's entrance into the the crowded Ohio energy market could affect competitors plans to raise rates. 

AEP and First Energy have asked state regulators to allow them to hike customers' bills to ensure energy production and guarantee income for their struggling coal plants through 2030. 

Texas-based Dynegy recently bought several coal and natural gas plants from Duke Energy. Now, the company says it can counter plans from AEP and FirstEnergy by offering the same amount of energy for $5 billion less.

Future Of Coal Debated In Columbus

Jan 7, 2016
Flickr Creative Commons user Bill Herndon

Who should be paying to keep power plants afloat that are inefficient and don’t do very well in the market—the utility company or its customers?

That's the question under hot debate in Columbus as major utility AEP fights to keep several of its coal plants open through 2030. 

The state's advocate for residential utility customers says American Electric Power's proposed rate plan could raise next summer's rates for many Ohio customers by 31 percent.

The office of the Ohio Consumers' Counsel said Tuesday that the proposal would shift rates for generating electricity, leaving residential customers paying more in relation to commercial and industrial users. It argues instead for a uniform rate change across all categories.