After customers reacted with outrage to an electricity rate plan that charged many small businesses and some residents substantially more than previous years, AEP was forced by the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio to rework its rates.
The latest set of rates will lower electricity bills in particular for homes that use electric heating and small businesses that have short periods of high electricity demand.
The Dispatch reports that the changes have left most customers satisfied, particularly with the job performed by PUCO to recognize its error and change its decision on the electricity rate plan.
"It seems like their reason for existence is to protect the public, and they listened and acted," Jeff Davis, owner of Café Brioso, told the Dispatch.
However, the biggest success for customers in the long term could be that the success of the new plan should allow the utility to be deregulated on schedule, giving more customers the option to switch electricity providers in the future. Ohio has only implemented electricity deregulation in stages, and AEP's two utilities in the state have the lowest participation rate by a wide margin.