Some people in Columbiana County may be paying more on their electric bill next month. 

American Energy Power or AEP was approved to increase its transmission rate for residential customers. The average customer will see their bill go up $10 a month. 

AEP provides energy to homes in south eastern Columbiana County. Residents in Calcutta, East Liverpool, Gavers, Glenmoor, La Croft, Salineville, Summitville, Wellsville and Westpoint will see the increase in April. 

“Providing reliable service relies on a resilient energy delivery system. As AEP Ohio has continued its commitment to invest in new transmission lines and replace aging infrastructure to better serve customers of all classes, costs have gone up,” a spokesperson for AEP said in a statement. 

The energy provider will change the formula used to calculate transmission rates from homes. The transmission rate on a bill is what it costs AEP to deliver the electricity from a supplier to a home. Residents cannot change who delivers their energy but they can shop around for their energy supplier to try and get their bill to go down.

While home energy bills will go up, AEP told 21 News that “commercial and industrial customers will see a small decrease.”

“Under this formula, residential customers used a larger share of the transmission system at peak demand, resulting in a larger rate increase for residential customers,” an AEP spokesperson said. 

The Ohio Consumers’ Council opposes the increase because they feel its discriminatory.

“Businesses have a great deal of influence in the utility arena sometimes … just your average residential consumer doesn’t have the influence that they should have in the system,” JP Blackwood of the OCC said. 

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio approved the increase. The OCC has requested a re-hearing with the PUCO and an audit of these charges with the FERC. If either are granted the rates could be reduced or taken away altogether. 

If residents oppose the increase and want to have the PUCO consider a re-hearing they can post a public comment here.