Payment Arrangements, Assistance Programs Available for Customers Facing Financial Constraints
GAHANNA, Ohio, July 6, 2020 — AEP Ohio, an American Electric Power (NYSE:AEP) company, today filed a plan with the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) to begin a careful transition to standard business operations.
Since March 13, 2020, AEP Ohio has operated under a COVID-19 emergency plan, which includes a moratorium on service disconnections for non-payment. As part of the AEP Ohio transition to standard business operations, service disconnections for past due customer accounts will resume in September, upon approval from the PUCO.
“As our state’s economy begins to reopen amidst a coordinated effort to reduce the spread of COVID-19, AEP Ohio is joining other businesses across the state by taking steps to return to standard operations with a careful, phased approach,” said Raja Sundararajan, AEP Ohio president and chief operating officer. “We understand that a full economic recovery will take time and there are customers who are still experiencing financial uncertainty. For customers struggling to pay their bills, we ask that you reach out to us so we can help. Taking action now can help keep balances and bills manageable, and your electric service connected.”
For residential, commercial and industrial customers dealing with financial hardships, AEP Ohio is offering extended payment arrangements and waiving deposit requirements. In order to qualify for payment arrangements, customers must pay a portion of their unpaid balance, and the remaining balance will be added to future bills. Deposit requirements will be temporarily waived for payments missed between March and July 2020.
Customers can discuss payment options with AEP Ohio customer service by:
Service Disconnection Notifications
Disconnections would only occur after multiple notices and providing customers opportunities to bring their bill current. AEP Ohio is notifying customers facing possible disconnection in September through bill messages detailing their past due amounts and via automated notifications. September bills will include disconnection notices providing the payment amount needed to avoid disconnection and a possible disconnection date.
“We hope the plans we’re putting in place will ensure all customers can maintain their service despite the personal financial impacts of COVID-19,” said Sundararajan. “We want to help and encourage customers in need to take the first step and reach out.”
In some circumstances, an AEP Ohio representative may initiate in-person notifications. In these cases, AEP Ohio employees will adhere to social distancing guidelines and wear face coverings. Customers are encouraged to maintain a distance of at least six feet from AEP Ohio employees.
Caring for Our Communities During the COVID-19 Pandemic
Since March, the AEP Foundation has donated more than $500,000 to organizations in Ohio providing direct assistance to those in need, including $180,000 in emergency funds to help address the hardships faced by customers and communities due to the pandemic.
AEP Ohio’s Neighbor to Neighbor program provides direct payment assistance for those in need. Customer contributions made to the N2N program are matched by the AEP Ohio Foundation.
More information is available at https://aepohio.com/info/community/paymentAssistancePrograms/NeighborToNeighbor.aspx