American Electric Power residential customers in Ohio are in line for a small break on their monthly bill.
Those customers also may be eligible for new incentives when it comes to renewable energy and electric vehicles.
The Public Utilities Commission of Ohio on Thursday approved a settlement that AEP reached in March with 13 groups over base rates for electric distribution service. It is the first update to AEP's base rates since 2011.
AEP says the PUCO order allows the power company to expand and continue several programs it has put in place to address reliability and resiliency. AEP Ohio will invest over the next four years in improvements meant to prevent power outages, restoring service safer and faster, and help the electric grid operate more efficiently.
The new rates go into effect next month.
A typical residential customer using 1,000 kWh per month will see rates drop 71 cents a month, AEP said. AEP had initially requested an increase of $5.68 per month.
The typical residential customer pays about $130 per month for service.
Under the deal, the fixed monthly charge that residential customers pay will go from $8.40 to $10.
But several riders that customers currently pay for such things as tree trimming and removal and other investments meant to reduce power outages and frequency will now be part of the base rates rather than a separate charge.
AEP will offer a new plug-in electric vehicle charging program that will be available to 500 eligible customers who charge electric vehicles at times when demand for power is low. A separate pilot program provides benefits to customers generating their own electricity and encourages the use of renewable energy.
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