The Public Utilities Commission of Ohio announced that it plans to put forward its plan for addressing business electricity rates in the state on Thursday, November 23, according to The Columbus Dispatch.

The regulatory agency and major Ohio utility company American Electric Power have been under fire over a plan that would raise electricity rates for small businesses, on the basis that larger companies have been paying for increased costs in recent years.

The Dispatch reported earlier in the month that the regulator had received more than 200 complaints from customers as of February 10, causing the agency to reconsider its approval of AEP's latest rates plan.

By Wednseday, February 22, however, PUCO told the Dispatch they had received more than 1,000 complaints, as more customers have become aware of the plan to raises electricity prices.

"The commissioners are listening to what affected customers are saying," PUCO spokesman Matt Butler told the Dispatch. "They acknowledge the negative impact their decision is having on small businesses, schools and other organizations; they take responsibility for that decision, and will discuss and address the issue at (Thursday's) public meeting."

PUCO had been pleased with the latest deal because it lays out a timeline for opening up competition with retail electricity providers, but opposition over that path has been substantial.