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    Customers with Ohio’s American Electric Power Co. may soon start paying up to 7 percent more on their electricity bills if a new pricing plan is accepted by Ohio utility regulators, Bloomberg reports.

    According to the news source, AEP is currently in the midst of shifting from the only player in a regulated energy market to a utility among several retail energy providers in a deregulated market. The three-year plan, if approved, would affect all of AEP’s 1.5 million customers.

    The Public Utilities Commission of Ohio recently voted to freeze AEP’s base generation rate, which is normally the most costly for customers. But because this rate is separate from the distribution portion of the bill, customers will still see a price hike as soon as September as the utility introduced other fees and a new pricing plan.

    PUCO already approved one of AEP’s pricing plans in December, however it was quickly revoked after it drew the ire of customers across the state. Most notably, schools claimed the new price scheme would more than double their electricity rates.

    Ohio has had a deregulated market since January 1, 2001, and in the first month, 97,622 customers with FirstEnergy switched energy suppliers.