Archived Story

Program to help with electric bills

Published 10:02am Friday, November 2, 2012

Offering county residents a way to reduce their electric bills is the purpose behind a new partnership between Lawrence County Commissioners and AEP.

“These are tough economic times,” Commission President Les Boggs said at Thursday’s regular commission meeting. “People are struggling.”

That’s why the commissioners approached AEP to develop a way to cut at least one the utility bills homeowners struggle with each month

Now there are two programs from AEP that will allow county residents the discount: OPCO or Columbus-Southern Power.

“We want to present an electric discount for all people who want to participate,” Boggs said.

These programs will enable customers to purchase at wholesale prices rather than regulated rates.

The average range of savings for the OPCO is expected to be between 13 and 14 percent and for the Columbus-Southern, 16 to 24 percent.

Those not eligible are those on the Percentage of Income Payment Plan, are getting electricity service from a co-op or are behind in their bills with AEP.

AEP customers will be getting a letter in December detailing the program. The cutoff date to sign up is March 15.

Also at Thursday’s meeting the commissioners transferred $14,000 from the fund that pays for the utilities of the sheriff’s office into the sheriff’s supplies fund. In October Lawrence County Sheriff Jeff Lawless requested an appropriation of $80,000 to cover food and medicines for inmates at the jail and gasoline for cruisers.

The budget at the beginning of the year for the utilities fund was $305,000. After the $14,000 transfer that fund will have $29,000 in it. That fund also covers payment for housing prisoners at out of county jails.

“We appreciate the efforts. It is just a drop in the bucket what is going to be required to end of the year,” Lawless said.

• In other action the commissioners:

Accepted the resignation of Michael Pierce as a paramedic with the Lawrence County EMS;

• Approved the donation of 344 sick hours to an EMS employee who will be off work for six weeks due to medical reasons;

• Received the weekly dog warden report where no dogs were euthanized, eight were adopted and none redeemed by their owners.


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