MOUNT VERNON — Mount Vernon customers with American Electric Power who signed up for the local electric aggregation program by early December are starting to receive their first bills reflecting their 9 percent discount. Those who signed up in the later stages of the opt-in period should start seeing their savings with their March billing, according to Mount Vernon Mayor Richard Mavis.
The AEP aggregation allows local lenders the right to negotiate for electricity service which could possibly be less expensive than that of AEP. An initial deadline in December was extended to give more customers the chance to opt-in to the program.
Mavis said the AEP bills sent to customers who signed up for the aggregation will now include a line item showing that the 9 percent discount has been applied.
While residential customers are able to realize this 9 percent savings, some small businesses are seeing an increase in their billings. Jeff Rennie, AEP spokesman, explained that a cost-based plan was submitted to the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio in January 2011.
“We wanted to recover our costs plus a little rate of return. We thought that was the best way to serve customers,” said Rennie. Numerous special interest groups then approached AEP with suggestions of changing to a market-based system for generation rates. “We came to an agreement with all these groups and the PUCO staff and submitted that to the PUCO commissioners,” which was then implemented in December.