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Regulators Raising Amount AEP Can Charge Competitors

State regulators are temporarily raising the price American Electric Power charges competitors to tap into Ohio’s deregulated electric marketplace, a decision that could lead to higher bills for customers who’ve already switched to new providers. The 4-1 decision from the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio extends the current capacity charge through July 2. It means the first 21 percent of AEP customers who switch to an alternative provider will have to pay a capacity charge nine times higher than a previous version of the plan. In a statement, AEP Ohio President and Chief Operating Officer Pablo Vegas called the decision appropriate. "We commend the PUCO for taking the time necessary to fully consider the implications that moving to a competitive market in Ohio will have for electricity consumers and AEP Ohio," Vegas wrote.