Power Company’s Customers on Hook for Factory’s Unpaid Bill

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) – Ohio’s utility regulators have decided that American Electric Power’s customers will be on the hook to pay a nearly $5 million electric bill owed by a now-defunct aluminum plant.

The Columbus Dispatch reports that the deal was approved this week by the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio. It ratifies an agreement that had been negotiated by the power company and Ormet Corp., the Hannibal-based aluminum smelter that shut down in 2013.

AEP’s customers will see an increase of less than $1 for about six months to cover the plant’s unpaid bill of $4.98 million.

Ormet was the largest employer in southeastern Ohio’s Monroe County and had about 700 workers at the time of the shutdown. It used more electricity than any other factory in the state.