You may have heard about the Ohio Retail Electric Choice Program from conversations you’ve had with family, friends or at your neighbor’s barbecue last week. Although it’s not a topic that keeps you awake at night, most likely you are still confused. Don’t worry, you are not alone. As you are trying to make sense of what is fact vs. fiction, perhaps we can shine a light on the top five commonly misconstrued myths about electric choice and the truth behind them.
1. Myth: I won’t save money
Truth: You actually can save money on the electricity supply portion of your electricity bill when you enroll with a Competitive Retail Electric Service (CRES) provider. Through the Ohio Retail Electric Choice Program, you are able to select who provides the electricity supply (also referred to as the generation and transmission, where applicable) portion of your bill. So how can you save money? CRES providers monitor the electricity market constantly with up-to-the-second information and the latest technology. They are able to purchase electricity supply at low market-based prices and pass the savings along to you.
To determine how much you will save with a CRES provider, you’ll want to determine whether a provider’s offer is lower than your monthly “Price to Compare Rate” which is found on your electricity bill. The “Price to Compare” rate is the price per kilowatt-hour (kWh) that you pay for electricity supply with your local utility. Learn more on how to calculate your savings or find other helpful tips on how to choose an electricity supply provider from The Office of the Ohio Consumers’ Counsel (OCC).
2. Myth: I won’t be served by my local utility anymore
Truth: When you enroll with a CRES provider, your local utility will continue to deliver electricity to your home. In fact, your local utility will still send you one bill, read your meter, maintain the poles and wires, and respond to any outages. When you are with a CRES provider, the charges from your local utility will only include distribution charges and any other riders or fees. The CRES provider’s charges, which includes the generation and transmission (where applicable), will be shown as a separate line item on your bill.
3. Myth: I need to purchase additional equipment
Truth: You do NOT need to purchase additional equipment, and there are no extra supplier fees when you select an electricity supply provider. You simply receive the same electricity supply but pay less for it. It’s that simple!
4. Myth: AEP Energy and AEP Ohio are the same company
Truth: AEP Energy is a Competitive Retail Electric Service (CRES) provider and is a subsidiary of American Electric Power Co, Inc. (AEP). AEP Ohio is also an affiliate of AEP; however, AEP Ohio is an electric utility that must charge rates approved by the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO). As an electricity supply provider, AEP Energy can sell electricity supply at prices that more closely reflect current market conditions, which can help you put more money in your pocket.
5. Myth: It’s a hassle to switch
Truth: It takes only a few minutes to enroll with AEP Energy. All you need is your recent electricity bill since your account information is required to enroll. Simply go to aepenergy.com, enter your zip code and follow the simple instructions. Or call our Customer Care Team at 1-866-258-3782. After you have enrolled with AEP Energy, your local utility will mail you a notice confirming your decision to enroll with AEP Energy and will include your scheduled start date. Your service with AEP Energy will begin on your next available meter reading date. This typically takes up to 45- 75 business days after we receive your enrollment request.
We hope this information was helpful to you. If you ever have any questions about electric choice, you can email us, chat online, or call us at 1-866-258-3782.
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