As reported in the Cleveland Plain Dealer today, the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) ruled yesterday, February 23rd, to disapprove the settlement agreement in AEP-Ohio’s rate case. This reverses their December 14th decision to approve the settlement. Note that IEU-Ohio was the only business group that opposed that settlement agreement. The PUCO press release stated:
“Upon consideration of arguments raised by parties who did not sign the settlement agreement and upon becoming aware of the actual impacts of the agreeement, the Commission found that approving the agreement does not benefit ratepayers and is not in the public interest.”
The PUCO ordered AEP to return to the rates that were in effect in December 2011, until such time as a new rate plan is adopted. By next Tuesday, February 28th, AEP must file tariffs to comply with this order. It is unclear at this time when those rates will take effect or whether there will be any refunds of January and February charges.
AEP’s original rate application, which was filed on January 27, 2011, remains in place. The PUCO gave AEP 30 days to amend or withdraw that application. The PUCO will allow any party to participate in the proceedings when they occur. We encourage AEP customers to stay informed and get involved. If you are a member of IEU-Ohio, you will be well represented in those proceedings.