When will my power be restored?

During widespread outages our goal is to safely restore power to the most customers in the shortest amount of time.

The first step is to assess damage and find out what facilities and equipment need repairing. This helps us determine required materials, assign crews and set estimated restoration times.

Next, we focus our efforts on essential services such as hospitals, emergency response agencies, public utilities and community shelters. We repair the largest outages first; residential customers are given priority over business and industrial customers. Then, once the largest outages are mostly restored, work crews move on to other affected areas while some personnel remain behind to complete other necessary parts of the restoration.

There are three easy ways to stay connected with us and get updates on specific outages:

Download our app – AEPOhio.com/app
Sign up for text alerts – AEPOhio.com/alerts
View our outage map – AEPOhio.com/outagemap

It’s really hot outside and I’m using my air conditioner a lot. How can I avoid a high electric bill?

Running your air conditioner during the summer can mean paying more for your electric bills. AEP Ohio has a program to help customers avoid seasonal bill increases — the Average Monthly Payment (AMP) plan.

AEP Ohio’s AMP plan spreads electric costs out over the whole year by basing monthly payments on a rolling 12-month average. Each month, the oldest bill is removed from the average and the current month’s bill is added. The result is a payment that might go up or down a few dollars but will remain relatively stable each month. AMP does not include a “settle-up” month, unlike the company’s Budget Plan, which does.

Enrolling in AMP offers customers more predictable payments, which makes monthly budgeting easier. It’s also a great alternative for our Budget Plan customers who want to avoid large, annual settle-up payments.

In addition to AMP, AEP Ohio offers a variety of energy efficiency programs to help customers save money and energy this summer.

Here are a few tips to help you further reduce your electric usage and bill this summer:

  • Turn off lights, fans and electronics when not in use.
  • Replace incandescent light bulbs with Energy Star LEDs.
  • Pull the plug on devices, like phone chargers, when not in use. They still consume energy, even when turned off. As a friendly reminder, unplugging your DVR/cable box might interrupt recordings of your favorite television shows and result in a full system reboot.
  • Use smart power strips for electronics likes computers and televisions. They can sense when a device is turned off or not being used and will shut off the power automatically.
  • Close window blinds to prevent the sun from increasing indoor temperatures.
  • Keep the thermostat to a minimum of 78 degrees while circulating cool air with box and ceiling fans.
  • Caulk, weather-strip and insulate windows and doors wherever air leaks are found.
  • Replace air conditioner filters. Clean filters can lower air conditioner energy consumption up to 15 percent.

AEP Ohio customers can enroll in AMP by calling the company’s 24-hour Customer Solutions Center at (800) 672-2231 or by logging into their account and updating their billing preferences.

AMP is only applicable to AEP Ohio charges. If you participate in Ohio Choice and want to enroll in a budget plan for generation charges, contact your generation provider.

More info: AEPOhio.com/AMP

I have a billing issue. Can you help?

Absolutely. If you have any questions about your bill or are having trouble paying it, we’re here to work with you.

We provide a variety of payment options including electronic fund transfer, online, via our app, by mail, by phone and in person.

We also offer a variety of payment plans to help those who need help with their monthly bills. The Average Monthly Payment Plan and Budget Billing Plan are levelized payment options that make bills more consistent throughout the year, even during the winter and summer when you may use more electricity.

We also partner with government agencies and non-profits to help low-income households with their utility bills. For example, Ohio PIPP Plus is a payment assistance program plan that makes monthly payments more affordable on a year-round basis. No matter your situation, we can work with you to customize a plan. Send us an email at [email protected] or call us at (800) 672-2231.

More info: AEPOhio.com/account/bills

How can I save money on my bill?

There are lots of things you can do to use less electricity and save money each month, such as unplugging electronics and underutilized appliances, controlling the temperature in your home, turning off lights you’re not using, weatherizing your home, using light emitting diode (LED) bulbs and changing your furnace and air conditioning filters.

AEP Ohio also offers a number of incentives and rebates to help you save money while cutting back on energy use in your home, including:

  • Home Energy Profile: Complete a short survey to receive free, personalized energy efficiency tips and a free kit of energy efficient products.
  • Appliance Recycling: We’ll pick up of your old, working refrigerator or freezer and give you $50 for it.
  • Home Rebates: You can get money back when you make energy efficient updates to your home or purchase select ENERGY STAR® certified appliances.
  • Efficient Lighting Discounts: You save money on select ENERGY STAR® LED lighting products either through AEP Ohio’s Online Lighting Store or at participating retailers.

More info: AEPOhio.com/save

What’s your tree trimming policy?

Outages occur for a variety of reasons but one of the most common causes of power outages is trees and limbs falling on power lines. Just one tree limb can knock out electric service to dozens of homes up to several miles away. That’s why we have a comprehensive program to manage trees and brush that grow around power lines. Trimming trees is an essential part of keeping the lights on and ensuring you have safe and dependable electric service.

Our aggressive tree clearing program is cycle-based. This means you can expect to see tree trimmers in your neighborhood every four years clearing branches and other vegetation from power lines. Our tree clearing benefits you through improved service and fewer outages caused by trees.

You can play an important role, too: By planting the right tree in the right place, you help preserve your community’s trees while also benefitting utility customers.

More info: AEPOhio.com/info/treetrimming

What is a smart meter and how does it affect me?

Smart meters are electric meters equipped with two-way communication technology. They provide near real-time electric readings and securely send customers’ usage information to AEP Ohio for operational and billing purposes. Smart meters improve billing accuracy (you’ll no longer receive estimated bills) and eliminate the need for meter readers to enter onto customers’ property.

Smart meters provide information to our crews that speeds response times and outage repairs. This information also enables new features you can use to help manage your energy usage from a smart phone, tablet or laptop.

If you live in area that’s set to receive smart meters, you’ll be notified via mail and phone within three weeks of the installation and a reminder call a few days in advance. There’s also an online interactive map where you can enter your address for an installation timeline.

More info: AEPOhio.com/smartmeter

Why can’t you put my wires underground?

Overhead lines are often the most effective way to deliver power to our customers. It’s not always appropriate to install wires underground but we do use this option under certain circumstances.

We seek out individual solutions for all our customers and their communities. Decisions are made after careful analysis and planning by our engineers, who consider factors such as Right of Way, the location of trees, distance to a power source and ease of repair. Should you ever have questions about electrical equipment on your property or concerns about service reliability, please feel free to contact us.

Why am I being charged $153 for work done at my home?

Sometimes customers request that we temporarily disconnect and reconnect their electrical service. The reasons often include tree trimming, rewiring, siding installation, construction and other home improvements. For this work, we charge a $153 fee for disconnecting and reconnecting service at the same location. The fee covers the cost of vehicle and equipment use, wages and other associated resources.

Do you have information on other energy providers?

AEP Ohio maintains power lines and equipment and delivers energy to your home. But you may have the opportunity to choose the company that generates your electricity. Just as you shop for other products and services, you can shop for your energy supplier, too. This freedom lets you choose from among a diverse group of competitive suppliers that are certified by the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio.

But remember, suppliers charge varying rates so customers who select other companies to supply their power through our lines will pay different monthly amounts.

Page 3 of your bill has details on choosing who generates your power, as does AEPOhio.com.

More info: EnergyChoice.Ohio.gov