AEP agreement axes 2011 rate increase | The Columbus Dispatch

There are 10 comments on the Columbus Dispatch story from Dec 1, 2010, titled AEP agreement axes 2011 rate increase | The Columbus Dispatch. In it, Columbus Dispatch reports that:

Without a rate freeze, AEP could raise rates up to 6 percent next year, which translates to $78 annually for each household.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at Columbus Dispatch.

timmy

Youngstown, OH

#1 Dec 1, 2010
They should have to refund. But Big Bussiness get it's way again. This will never stop until we all are broke. Then they'll take their stocks and build another power plant for themselves and us slaves will man it!!!
Larry

Pataskala, OH

#2 Dec 1, 2010
One question. Why aren't oil companies regulated the same way as electric utilities in the state of Ohio? They too are energy companies providing a 'product' just as essential as electricity. Yet, as far as I know, they are not regulated. Their profits are not limited to some prescribed amount. They can make as much profit as possible.

AEP employs many people in the state of Ohio. Recently AEP went through a reduction in force in which a large number of employees either voluntarily left or were involuntarily severed from the company. How does limiting the company's ability to be profitable and retain employees square with the state's goals of promoting economic and job growth?

If excessive profits are the issue, what about oil companies or for that matter any company that provides a 'basic' service or product such as electricity, gasoline, etc.? Are there special interest politics at play here?
hmmmmmm

Reynoldsburg, OH

#3 Dec 1, 2010
"Without a rate freeze, AEP could raise rates up to 6 percent next year, which translates to $114 million, or $78 annually for each household. The rate freeze essentially would undo the rate increase previously approved by regulators." and... "the utility would not have to issue refunds for possibly making excessive profit last year." The determination was "AEP owes each household $102 for excessive profit last year."

On the face of it, seems like customers are getting a pretty good deal, especially when you add in "The 16-page document has several other significant parts"
But, is it really? I've never read anywhere that the customers have been on the plus side of anything AEP does. AEP customers always pay, costs are just passed on to customers, as in "• AEP will not charge customers for $18 million that it spent on environmental programs this year." Really!

"The rate freeze essentially would undo the rate increase previously approved by regulators." I couldn't believe that PUKE-O allowed the increase in the first place, but hey, what does a plain ordinary person know about these things?

Since: Dec 09

Columbus

#4 Dec 1, 2010
The average cost will go up $78.00 per year with the rate increase, but it doesn't say what the average refund would be. This is like the casino is already open.

Don't take the refund and settle for a freeze on the rate and you can then bet the rate increase will follow the next year.
Columbus

Columbus, OH

#5 Dec 1, 2010
Larry wrote:
One question. Why aren't oil companies regulated the same way as electric utilities in the state of Ohio? They too are energy companies providing a 'product' just as essential as electricity. Yet, as far as I know, they are not regulated. Their profits are not limited to some prescribed amount. They can make as much profit as possible.
AEP employs many people in the state of Ohio. Recently AEP went through a reduction in force in which a large number of employees either voluntarily left or were involuntarily severed from the company. How does limiting the company's ability to be profitable and retain employees square with the state's goals of promoting economic and job growth?
If excessive profits are the issue, what about oil companies or for that matter any company that provides a 'basic' service or product such as electricity, gasoline, etc.? Are there special interest politics at play here?
Because we (the public) supposedly have choices where we buy our gasoline products. I may be stupid but I'm not dumb--you can't tell me that there is not collusion and price manipulation among the energy companies. That's the way it was at the turn of 1900 and the tradition continues. That's why we have private country clubs for these esteemed businessman.
Other

Columbus, OH

#6 Dec 1, 2010
Anyone who thinks this is a good deal probably believes that they did not pay taxes because they got a refund.

Overcharging people, and then promising not to overcharging them more, is not a win for the people of Ohio.

.
FreeMarket

Columbus, OH

#7 Dec 1, 2010
Does anyone here remember "free market capitalism"? I think the government should stop monkeying with private business. Eliminate PUCO and lay off those employees, and lower our taxes. Let the free market determine the rate for electricity. Read your electric bill and see all the taxes and fees that PUCO adds to your bill that goes to support the liberal welfare state. Get rid of all of it and get government off our back!
hmmmmmm

Reynoldsburg, OH

#8 Dec 1, 2010
Im_Here wrote:
The average cost will go up $78.00 per year with the rate increase, but it doesn't say what the average refund would be. This is like the casino is already open.
Don't take the refund and settle for a freeze on the rate and you can then bet the rate increase will follow the next year.
The determination was "AEP owes each household $102 for excessive profit last year."
Daddyvortex

Greenfield, OH

#9 Dec 1, 2010
"One question. Why aren't oil companies regulated the same way as electric utilities in the state of Ohio?"

It's not practical to have dozens of separate electric lines running to your house to chose between competitors. You can, however, have dozens of gas stations along the roads where you drive.

The utilities are heavily regulated in exchange for "natural" monopoly rights. Look to Cuba or the old U.S.S.R. for what it's like to have all industry government owned and regulated. If a bureaucrat decided that 20 gallons of gas a month is your ration, well, you have to make do or be a criminal and get more on the black market.

BTW: welcome to Obamacare.
Larry

Pataskala, OH

#10 Dec 4, 2010
Daddyvortex wrote:
"One question. Why aren't oil companies regulated the same way as electric utilities in the state of Ohio?"
It's not practical to have dozens of separate electric lines running to your house to chose between competitors. You can, however, have dozens of gas stations along the roads where you drive.
The utilities are heavily regulated in exchange for "natural" monopoly rights. Look to Cuba or the old U.S.S.R. for what it's like to have all industry government owned and regulated. If a bureaucrat decided that 20 gallons of gas a month is your ration, well, you have to make do or be a criminal and get more on the black market.
BTW: welcome to Obamacare.
This is the reason retail competition was enacted in the electric utility industry. Under retail competition, consumers can purchase their electrical energy from any provider they choose. The owner of the wires that transmit this electrical energy does not matter - one set of wires, multiple providers. So far the state of Ohio allows individual consumer participation and cummunities to vote to aggregate the loads of individual consumers (unless they opt out) in order to seek a competitive energy supplier.  A good example of this was originally reported in the Dispatch in November in which the city of Reynoldsburg was considering buying power for it's residents from FirstEnergy Solutions at a five percent discount. 

The state undermined aggregation and retail competition, when in 2006, it put in place Rate Stabilization Plans effective from 2006 to 2008 to provide a more gradual transition to market-based rates. These Rate Stabilization Plans had the effect of driving many energy suppliers out of the state because they could not compete with the regulated utilities - AEP, FirstEnergy, etc. So thank the state of Ohio for the lack of consumer choice.

So, you would have a choice, had the state of Ohio not stepped in, of who you purchase your electrical energy from just as you have a choice of who you purchase your gasoline or heating oil from. As far as I am concerned, gasoline, heating oil, etc. are just as essential as electrical energy. Therefore, the same arguments that were used in the early 1900's to enact regulation on electric utilities could presumably be used to enact regulation on oil companies. Why has this not happened? Oh yes, the monopoly argument utilized as a reason to regulate electric utilities in my opinion applies just as much to oil companies.

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