AEP to charge customers for summer storm repairs

About 1.5 million AEP customers lost power last summer due to a storm.
About 1.5 million AEP customers lost power last summer due to a storm.

HANCOCKCOUNTY, OH (Toledo News Now) – Storms last summer hit the area hard, andthousands of people in Hancock County went days without power.

Thestorm cost American Electric Power (AEP) nearly $62 million for repairs, whichAEP now intends to pass along to its customers.

Itcomes down to about $3 extra per month for a typical household. The extracharge would be paid for one year. Some customers are angry when faced with anextra charge for poor service received.

"It's not my fault thestorm came through," said David Blakley, who lost power for three days lastsummer. "I don't think I should have to pay for that. It just doesn't seem veryfair to me."

Blakley said he alreadylost money because of the storm – he lost all the food from his refrigerator.

AEP is requesting areimbursement of $61 million, to cover the cost of labor and materials. Acompany spokesperson said they can be reimbursed for storm fees exceeding $5million, and having customers pay is a routine procedure.

But Jameson Botiner,owner of Waldo's Peppers, doesn't think the company should ask for thatreimbursement. Botiner's restaurant lost power for a weekend during the storm,which he said cost his business $15-20 thousand.

"That really should be apart of their business plan, to deal with emergencies," he said of AEP.

A court ruling willoccur in the spring to decide whether or not AEP can charge customers for thereimbursement.

Copyright 2013 Toledo News Now. All rights reserved.