State Regulators Order $6.9 Million Refund To AEP Ohio Customers

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State regulators have determined Columbus Southern Power had "excessive earnings" for 2010 under Ohio law and should return $6.9 million.

The Public Utilities Commission of Ohio issued the Wednesday ruling involving the American Electric Power operating company. The ruling cites a 2008 law that made it easier for utilities to raise rates but said their profits must not be "significantly excessive."

A spokesman for the Ohio Consumers' Counsel says the total to be returned to customers is about one-fifth of the $35 million recommended by that consumer advocacy agency. He says a PUCO staff witness had recommended more than $22 million.

AEP Ohio didn't immediately return a message seeking comment after business hours Wednesday.