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PUCO Approves Rate Hikes On AEP Electricity

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The Energy Collective
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Regulators have approved a pair of deals that allow FirstEnergy and AEP to impose short-term rate increases on electricity customers in Ohio to subsidize some older coal-fired and nuclear power plants.

The Public Utilities Commission of Ohio unanimously passed the power purchase agreements for Akron-based FirstEnergy and Columbus-based AEP Thursday. Opponents are likely to challenge the decisions.

The companies submitted the latest versions of their plans to the commission in December.

The Ohio Consumers' Counsel, representing ratepayers, projected it will cost customers an extra $5.9 billion over eight years. FirstEnergy estimates the average monthly electric bill will increase $3.25 the first year, but later rebates will total $560 million.

The deals also includes charges for distribution services, energy efficiency and a smart grid.