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Ohio Supreme Court rejects request for AEP refunds

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — The Ohio Supreme Court has rejected an appeal seeking $368 million in refunds for American Electric Power customers.

In a 5-2 decision Thursday, the high court said the Ohio Consumers' Counsel, which represents utility ratepayers, and Industrial Energy Users-Ohio failed to show state utility regulators erred in denying the refunds.

AEP and its operating companies collected the money from April 2009 to May 2011 to help compensate for certain risks associated with being a "provider of last resort."

Regulators at the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio ordered AEP in October 2011 to remove such charges from future bills and to refund the charges it had collected between June and October of that year.

Justices said Ohio case law doesn't require AEP to refund the $368 million it had collected earlier.

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