Published Thu, Feb 23, 2012 5:03 am Dateline
Ohio public utility regulators are ready to reconsider electric rate increases criticized by schools and small businesses as burdensome at a time of a weak economy and continued budget cuts.
Three of the state's largest school groups have asked regulators to give districts special consideration as they reconsider the increase that took effect last month for American Electric Power.
The Public Utilities Commission of Ohio is holding a hearing today to reconsider the $300 million base-rate increase for AEP.
PUCO spokesman Matt Butler says the agency takes responsibility for their decision while acknowledging its impact.
The PUCO has received more than 370 complaints about business rates since the higher costs took effect.
AEP has said it's concerned about the rates and is working to address their effects.