Because of the way that Ohio opened the state to competition between electricity providers only slowly, in parts, many business owners were suddenly shocked to find their electricity bills skyrocket with the approval of American Electric Power's latest electricity rate plan.
The utility company was finally forced to set a deadline for the introduction of competition, after maintaining its monopoly for years after much of the rest of the state could already switch electricity suppliers. In turn, however, the company raised small business electricity rates dramatically, insisting these customers have benefited from lower prices at the expense of larger businesses.
But many businesses are furious with the sudden spike, as well as their failure to inform customers about the change.
"We got the bill and opened it and about fell out of a chair," Mark Ballard, owner of Sugardaddy's told the news source. "I’m shocked and I’m mad."
The Public Utilities Commission of Ohio reports that the two utility companies comprised by AEP have seen only around 10 percent of commercial customers switch electricity providers. Those companies that have this option could see lower electricity rates with another supplier.