News

June 2022

AEP offers some funding help amid power outage fallout

Courtesy of Axios Columbus
By Tyler Buchanan and Alissa Widman Neese
July 21, 2022

Public outrage caused AEP Ohio to help local residents recoup losses suffered in last week’s major power outage.

But the company is still offering little in the way of direct support to customers who were without power for days amid a scorching heat wave.
Catch up quick: AEP received backlash for its decision to shut down power to hundreds of thousands of Ohioans in an effort to “prevent widespread damage” to the electric grid.

Once power was restored, AEP told customers it would not reimburse them for spoiled food — a decision City Council member Rob Dorans called “such BS.”
AEP then pulled out of the Stonewall Columbus Pride March as part of the fallout.

The latest: AEP now says it has donated $1 million to local organizations that provide housing and food assistance in Central Ohio, including Columbus Urban League, IMPACT Community Action, Lifecare Alliance and the Mid-Ohio Food Collective.

It’s also promoting an existing program that aids customers with utility bill payments.
Of note: The county can reimburse Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) recipients for spoiled food.

What’s ahead: The power issues are hopefully behind us, but we’re not done with the repressive heat.

The forecast projects we’ll top 80 degrees every day through the Fourth of July, including 90+ degrees in three of the next four days, with a heat index in the 100s expected on Wednesday.
Our advice: Stay hydrated, utilize the city’s cooling centers and keep an eye on vulnerable members of our community.