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State Regulators Reject American Electric Power Deal

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After protests over huge electric bills by small businesses, communities and homeowners, state regulators have tossed out the new rate increases they approved for American Electric Power in December. But Ohio Public Radio's Karen Kasler reports, the fight isn't over.

Thursday, February 23, 2012 at 6:14 pm

Small businesses, communities, schools, churches and individuals howled when their American Electric Power bills jumped dramatically after state regulators approved a deal with AEP in December. Tom Horst is a commissioner in Highland County in southwest Ohio.

Horst: "First bills came in, my phone at the county commissioner's office was ringing off the wall."

State regulators have now rejected the AEP agreement they approved in December. PUCO chairman Todd Snitchler says regulators are concerned about what was in the agreement versus what's happened in reality, so they decided to - in his words - hit the reset button.

Snitchler: "The disproportionate impact and the substantial number of folks that were affected caused us some real concern and that made us look at the record again to see if any of the information was there."

The decision orders AEP to revert back to the rates it had in place before the increase. AEP has 30 days to decide what to do, and writes in a statement that it's still evaluating its options.

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