Many AEP Ohio customers are seeing an increase in their monthly electric bills. Customers who receive their electric generation supply through AEP Ohio’s standard service offer have seen their rates jump since the start of the summer.
AEP Ohio’s standard service offer, or SSO, applies to customers who haven’t selected an energy supplier of their own. Essentially, SSO customers allow AEP Ohio to choose their energy supplier for them. Customers who’ve selected a supplier, or customers who are part of a municipal aggregation program, won’t see increases on their bills.
A typical AEP Ohio SSO residential customer can expect a 28% price increase on monthly bills, with a new price of a little less than 12 cents per kilowatt-hour. These price hikes took effect in June 2023, and AEP notes that these increases will be in effect through May 2024.
In Ohio, customers are allowed to select who provides their generation supply. AEP Ohio uses an auction system to determine which energy supply company will provide energy for AEP Ohio customers. Companies that supply energy put in bids to AEP Ohio to be selected. The prices the company pays during these auctions are going up because of external factors like supply chain issues and the continued war in Ukraine. Based on Ohio regulations, AEP Ohio is “required to pass these prices onto consumers.”
But it isn’t too late for you to potentially lower your electric bill by choosing your energy provider. Ohio is among 18 states in the US that has a deregulated electricity market, also commonly referred to as retail choice. This means people can choose their electric provider, weighing things like rates and clean energy options.
If you’re shopping for electricity in the state, you can check out CNET’s breakdown of rates in Ohio. When comparing suppliers, look closely at the details of any contract to watch out for hidden costs, such as a high termination fee. Also keep an eye on the terms of a rate contract — is the rate you’ll pay fixed or variable, and how long will it last?
You can also compare different rates on the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio’s Apples to Apples website.
In response to a request for comment, AEP Ohio pointed to a page on its website about the bill increase, which also includes information on its payment plan that lets customers even out their electric costs over a whole year.