From the Office of State Senator Juan "Chuy" Hinojosa

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 19, 2006
CONTACT: Melissa del Bosque (512) 463-0120, cell 947-4046

AEP Should Pay South Texans the $231 Million in Overcharges in the Next Year, Says Senator Hinojosa

AUSTIN -- Senator Juan "Chuy" Hinojosa is urging South Texans to contact the Texas Public Utility Commission to ask for their $231 million owed by American Electric Power (AEP).

The utility company filed its rebate rate case Friday with the Public Utility Commission. The company owes South Texans $231 million that it overcharged consumers on their electric bills since 2001.

AEP, a $13-billion company based in Columbus, Ohio has proposed returning the $231 million to consumers over the next 8 years.

Senator Hinojosa is urging the company to return the money in less than one year. "AEP has given no logical reason why they cannot pay back this money to consumers in the next year," Senator Juan "Chuy" Hinojosa said. "This money belongs to the ratepayers, not AEP."

Senator Hinojosa said the rebate would make the most impact during the hot summer months when electricity bills are at their highest.

"Paying the money back over 8 years will amount to pennies for consumers instead of dollars, which could make a real difference for working families right now."

Senator Hinojosa is asking South Texans to let the PUC know how they feel about AEP's 8-year proposal. Mayor Richard Cortez of McAllen and Mayor J. Wesley Jacobs of Falfurrias have already submitted letters to the PUC in favor of Senator Hinojosa's position that the company pay back the $231 million in the next year. The Senator has asked the PUC to track all calls, emails and letters for the next two weeks from his constituents.

To contact the Public Utility Commission by mail:
1701 N. Congress Avenue
P.O. Box 13326
Austin, Texas 78711-3326

To contact the PUC toll-free: (888) 782-8477 (English or Spanish)

To contact by email: customer@puc.state.tx.us

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