The Public Utilities Commission of Ohio has approved a request by Columbus-based American Electric Power to remotely disconnect the electricity of 132 thousand central Ohio customers who have smart meters but have not paid their bills.
The remote disconnection procedure will take effect in August. The previous procedure required a home visit. Consumer advocates opposed to the change say it will lead to increased disconnections. AEP says customers will still receive warnings and it will not to remotely disconnect electricity for people who've demonstrated difficulty understanding utility bills, people with mental impairments and those who depend on medical equipment.