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Two Ohio utilities are still going after each other through advertisements in a high-profile battle that has come about after energy deregulation laws were passed in the state, The Associated Press reports.
According to the media outlet, American Electric Power (AEP) is butting heads with FirstEnergy, the first of which has requested that the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) raise electricity rates to help it recoup losses associated with switching to a deregulated electric market. However, FirstEnergy contends the additional charges will make competition in AEP controlled areas virtually impossible.
PUCO spokesman Matt Buttler said the ad battle has sparked more consumer mail than he has ever seen.
AEP requested electricity rates be raised by 1,000 kilowatt-hours by $7.40 per month for its residential customers, following by a 3-to-4 percent increase in 2013. But FirstEnergy says the company is merely seeking a "billion dollar bailout" for the high costs it incurred due to energy deregulation.
Ohio's current electric market is a strong example of how energy deregulation can increase competition among electric providers. Retail suppliers often offer incentives and bonus packages to entice customers to switch providers.