The long battle over electricity rates in Ohio continued last Friday, March 30, with the introduction of the latest rate proposal from major state utility company American Electric Power Co.

AEP saw its first proposal at the end of last year spur a major backlash when some customers saw their electricity bills skyrocket, specifically small businesses and churches that use a lot of electricity at once, but only rarely.

The latest AEP rate plane would get rid of these changes, but at the same time it raises electricity rates for all customers, while also imposing major fees for customers who decide to switch electricity providers.

These fees would start out small for the first customers to make the switch, but would get larger past a certain threshold. While this threshold would go up over the course of the next three years, AEP offers no plans to get rid of the fees.

"Customers in Ohio should be able to take advantage of the low prices that are out there in the marketplace, but essentially this new plan imposes barriers that basically prevent customers from seeking lower prices one of things abundantly available in the competitive market," Doug Colafella of electricity provider FirstEnergy Corp. told The Associated Press.