COLUMBUS (June 3, 2010) -- Since May 2009, AEP Ohio, a unit of American Electric Power (NYSE: AEP), and Dollar Energy Fund have been collaborating on an energy assistance program that has provided more than $2.3 million in assistance to help moderate to low-income customers maintain or restore electric service. As the Neighbor to Neighbor Program begins its second year, AEP Ohio has announced it will commit an additional $500,000 to the program.
Through the Neighbor to Neighbor program more than 120 community-based organizations in 49 Ohio counties have joined the program’s network and have helped 9,185 low-income households receive utility assistance grants that are applied directly to their AEP Ohio account.
“This program is providing much needed assistance to Ohio families who need help paying their electric utility bills and may not be eligible for other types of aid,” said Joe Hamrock, president and chief operating officer for AEP Ohio. “AEP Ohio is glad to help customers through these challenging economic times.”
“We are proud to partner with AEP Ohio to provide this much needed assistance,” said Chad Quinn, COO of Dollar Energy Fund. “Thanks to AEP Ohio’s continued generosity to the Neighbor to Neighbor Program thousands of low-income families will keep electric service.”
To qualify, the total gross household income must be at or below 200 percent of the Federal Poverty Income Guidelines. For example, a family of four earning up to $44,100 per year is income eligible for the program. In addition, households must have made a sincere effort of payment on their electric bill in the last 90 days and have a back balance. Full eligibility guidelines and application instructions can be found at www.dollarenergyfund.org or www.aepohio.com.
AEP Ohio customers are able to contribute a dollar or more to the Neighbor to Neighbor Program and similar to last year AEP will match every dollar donated to the program doubling the impact of every dollar given.
“We want to help our neighbors, especially those who are elderly and disabled be comfortable in their homes, especially during the summer and winter months when temperatures can be extreme,” Quinn said. “I would like to extend a challenge to residents and businesses in our communities to help Dollar Energy Fund maximize AEP Ohio’s contribution and make a donation to the Neighbor to Neighbor Program.”
AEP Ohio customers may make a contribution through their monthly electric bill. Donations can also be made online at www.dollarenergyfund.org or by sending a check directly to the Ohio Neighbor to Neighbor Program, L-3285, Columbus, OH 43266-3285. All donations to the Neighbor to Neighbor Program will assist low-income AEP Ohio customers residing in Ohio.
AEP Ohio provides electricity to nearly 1.5 million customers of major AEP subsidiaries Columbus Southern Power Company and Ohio Power Company in Ohio, and Wheeling Power Company in the northern panhandle of West Virginia. AEP Ohio is based in Gahanna, Ohio. The company serves all or part of 61 counties in Ohio and two in West Virginia.
American Electric Power is one of the largest electric utilities in the United States, delivering electricity to more than 5 million customers in 11 states. AEP ranks among the nation’s largest generators of electricity, owning more than 38,000 megawatts of generating capacity in the U.S. AEP also owns the nation’s largest electricity transmission system, a nearly 39,000-mile network that includes more 765 kilovolt extra-high voltage transmission lines than all other U.S. transmission systems combined. AEP’s transmission system directly or indirectly serves about 10 percent of the electricity demand in the Eastern Interconnection, the interconnected transmission system that covers 38 eastern and central U.S. states and eastern Canada, and approximately 11 percent of the electricity demand in ERCOT, the transmission system that covers much of Texas. AEP’s utility units operate as AEP Ohio, AEP Texas, Appalachian Power (in Virginia and West Virginia), AEP Appalachian Power (in Tennessee), Indiana Michigan Power, Kentucky Power, Public Service Company of Oklahoma, and Southwestern Electric Power Company (in Arkansas, Louisiana and east Texas). AEP’s headquarters are in Columbus, Ohio.
About Dollar Energy Fund, Inc: Dollar Energy Fund was founded in 1983 and has grown to become one of the largest hardship funds in the United States. Dollar Energy Fund is a 501 (c) 3 organization operating in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Virginia, Tennessee and West Virginia. Throughout its history, the organization has provided over $70 million in utility assistance grants to over 255,000 low-income families and individuals.
All donations to the Neighbor to Neighbor Program, administered by Dollar Energy Fund, will assist low-income families residing in Ohio. Additional information can be found on Dollar Energy Fund’s website, www.dollarenergyfund.org.