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Q. If I go with FirstEnergy, who pays for the line and plant maintenance that AEP covered?

by on May 30, 2012

A. If you go with FirstEnergy for your power generation service, that company will bill you for power generation and transmission services. (Transmission includes the high-voltage lines that bring electricity from power plants to large substations.)

You will continue to pay AEP Ohio for distribution service. (Distribution includes the smaller power lines, transformers, etc., that bring electricity to homes and businesses.)

Charges for all three services — generation, transmission and distribution — may be included on the bill you receive from AEP Ohio. Otherwise, you could receive a bill from First Energy for the services it provides, and from AEP Ohio for the distribution service.

The cost of power plant and transmission line maintenance will be included in the generation and transmission portions of your bill. Distribution line maintenance costs are covered in the charge for distribution service.

As part of this transition, AEP Ohio will become a “wires company.” That means we’ll repair and maintain the power lines, substations, and other equipment and facilities that are needed to bring electricity to your home. When you have an outage or a tree trimming question, you’ll still call us.

Thanks, Stedman, for your question submitted by email.

  1. Why is First Energy going to charge me $25.00 because I will be changing to AEP….does not make
    sense, they never told me this when I signed with them…CaraMia

    • AEP Ohio permalink

      Thanks for your question. I don’t know the terms and conditions of your service from FirstEnergy. If you’ve switched to AEP Retail Energy, please give them a call at 1-866-823-6738 to discuss this issue.

      The Public Utilities Commission of Ohio may also be able to assist you. You can reach the PUCO at 1-800-686-7826 or online at

  2. Duane Kiser permalink

    There is no fair transition to competition. I lived outside Dallas when Texas made this change. After more than 10 years electric prices have skyrocketed… The new electric vendors haven’t built a single new plant… Electric rates are based on your credit reference, the worst the reference the higher your bill… Electric is more than triple compared to what we pay AEP now in the Tri-state (KY/OH/WV) area…. Brown outs in TX are normal now during the summer… This whole plan needs to be stopped now…. Electric production should remain regulated…

    • Duane:
      Thanks for scaring me, lol….its too late I have already joined AEP…but thanks for telling me…I am
      CaraMia, Harold is hubby and I take care of all our business…but he agreed with me re: AEP..
      grrrrrr, one cannnot win these days for nothing….bah humbug

  3. Mooncut permalink

    Competition in Ohio was pushed by large industrial customers and by Republicans in the state legislature. Look it up. The expectation was that competition would foster lower prices for consumers. Instead of investing in power system infrastructure and innovating to reduce costs, utilities deferred new construction and maintenance for the near-term, bottom-line benefit of shareholders at the expense of customers and employees. Most electric companies in Ohio have merged to form huge utility companies: AEP Ohio merged with AEP Texas; FirstEnergy merged with GPU and Allegheny Energy; and Cinergy merged with Duke Energy. Merger savings was mostly obtained by reducing workforces via severance and early retirement programs and by consolidating operating and customer service centers. There is no real incentive to invest in new generation and transmission since new generating facilities are expensive, i.e. non-competitive, in the marketplace and costs for new transmission facilities are placed in the rate base and recovered over decades at very low rates established by the federal government. The pay back is simply not there for utility executives and shareholders.

    De-regulation has been a tremendous failure for which the large industrials and politicians need to be held accountable. Electric utilities are far too important in our society to treat them like Wall Street investment firms. Unfortunately, as FirstEnergy executives point out, now that the cat is out of the bag it’s too difficult and unrealistic to ever put it back in. If you think selecting a natural gas supplier is daunting, especially for elderly customers without computer skills and internet access, wait until AEP, FE, and the load aggregators accelerate competition for your electric supply. You’ll pine for the good old days when integrated power companies begged for rate increases at the PUCO and your consumers’ advocate had real power to watch your back.

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