JACKSON - A Jackson County man wants to shift the service he gets from Buckeye Rural Electric Cooperative to American Electric Power, but it appears that for now, he will have to remain with BREC.
Warren J. Yerian of Jackson said what he called “poor service” from BREC prompted his request to have AEP become his electric provider.
But even with two AEP poles and lines on his Beaver Pike property, Yerian is still considered within BREC's service area and he will not be accepted as a AEP customer.
“At this time we do not think we are in Buckeye's domain,” Yerian said in an article that recently appeared in the Jackson Times-Journal. “Buckeye's main line is 450 feet from our structure and it is 110 feet from our structure to the meter on the transformer pole.”
Yerian has requested being dropped from BREC since 2002, after he said it cost him over $2,000 to replace several appliances that burned out when power was restored following an outage.
But Yerian, who's been a BREC member since 1957, said his grievances with the cooperative go back to 1994 when he was required to install an outside meter to be readby BREC staff. The meter had previously been in his house.
At the time, Yerian also sought release from the cooperative but was turned down. The issue resurfaced for him when his appliances were damaged several years later.
Yerian has filed a number of complaints with PUCO about the Rio Grande-based cooperative that serves nine southern Ohio counties, but he told the newspaper PUCO won't allow him to change providers because it could not find any evidence of inadequate service.
“It is almost like AEP does not want more customers and I think it is because they are in cahoots with Buckeye Electric,” Yerian told the Times-Journal. “After 45 years of infrequent power interruptions and one lasting over four days, it is time we should be connected to another more reliable and responsible electric supplier.”
BREC spokesman Steve Oden told the newspaper that “the fact remains that Yerian resided in Buckeye electric service territory before AEP was ever near his property line, and the fact that the AEP pole is closer to him now doesn't change that fact.”
Yerian's last complaint to PUCO citing inadequate service was filed in July 2005.
“We provide to him the same service that we provide to all our residential customers,” Oden told the Times-Journal. “PUCO never could find reason to believe otherwise, and closed and dismissed the case on Aug. 26, 2005.”
Yerian may continue to consult PUCO about the matter, but Oden said BREC will not discontinue its service to him.
“He is important to us as any other member and we will continue to serve him with the same level of service as anyone else,” he said.