Could you be owed money? Ohio consumer group says AES Ohio customers are due $60 million refund

COLUMBUS — Hundreds of thousands of AES Ohio customers could be due part of a $60 million refund from the electric provider after the company illegally collected a service charge over the last year, the Office of the Ohio Consumers’ Counsel alleges in a complaint filed to the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio.

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The OCC, a statewide, consumer government agency representing Ohio residents on utility issues, filed a notice with PUCO last month claiming AES Ohio “unlawfully” collected the charge from the company’s over 495,000 Dayton-area customers.

The complaint alleges AES Ohio collected “stability charge” illegally for 11 months, between August 2021 through June 2022.

“The strange reality is that DP&L has collected the stability charge from consumers since August 11, 2021 without a lawful PUCO tariff. The lawful tariff, that DP&L did not implement, was one that conditioned the stability charge on refundability,” the OCC argues in the complaint.

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“Therefore, DP&L owes its consumers the return of the illegally collected stability charge for the period it delayed complying with the PUCO’s tariff order. As OCC will explain, the PUCO should order DP&L to return $60 million in one lump-sum bill credit on consumers’ bills. OCC’s minimum position is stated without waiving our claims that DP&L owes consumers the return of $60 million in unauthorized charges,” the consumer group argues in the complaint.

AES Ohio disagrees and filed a response to the complaint last week arguing they’ve complied with all PUCO orders.

“As the company made clear in its response, AES Ohio has complied with Commission orders, and OCC has not demonstrated any bad faith or injury to customers to justify such sanctions,” an AES Ohio spokesperson said in an emailed response to News Center 7 Tuesday.

A rehearing on the measure will be considered by the 5-member PUCO commission at a future meeting. However an estimate for when a ruling might be issued wasn’t immediately known, a PUCO spokesperson told News Center 7.

If the $60 million were distributed evenly between the 495,000 AES Ohio customers, that would result in about $121 for each customer. The OCC argues that money should go back through a one, lump-sum credit on your bill.

Money that some AES Ohio customers say they need, amid rising energy costs and inflationary issues with the costs of other goods and services.

“That would certainly help on any consumer’s bill. I would appreciate a refund if it’s unlawfully collected,” Kim Boedeker of Bellbrook told News Center 7′s John Bedell.

“Every little bit of money helps when it comes to paying your bills these days.”

We’ll continue to update this story as we learn more.

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