COLUMBUS, Ohio – April 20, 2011 - For people buying or building a new home in Ohio, there is a new option available that exceeds the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) ENERGY STAR® Homes guidelines for energy efficiency, helping homeowners reduce energy use by as much as 35% or more than conventionally built homes.

AEP Ohio launched today its ENERGY STAR New Homes Program, which offers homebuyers in AEP Ohio’s service territory a selection of new homes with greater energy savings and value built right in. AEP Ohio and Columbia Gas of Ohio have created a partnership to jointly deliver the AEP Ohio/Columbia Gas of Ohio ENERGY STAR New Homes Program where the two utility service territories overlap.  In areas where Columbia Gas of Ohio does not provide service, ENERGY STAR New Homes are available to AEP Ohio customers.

Utility representatives, home builders, home energy raters and others were on hand today to discuss the program and demonstrate the advanced construction techniques and energy efficiency features of an AEP Ohio/Columbia Gas of Ohio ENERGY STAR New Home under construction at 4852 McNulty Street in Grove City.

“This program is another way AEP Ohio can provide reliable, affordable energy to the communities we serve in Ohio,” said Joe Hamrock, AEP Ohio president and chief operating officer. “Customer satisfaction is a priority at AEP Ohio, and the ENERGY STAR New Homes Program is part of our overall strategy to help customers make their homes more comfortable, save on their energy bills and use fewer natural resources. By customers reducing energy consumption, AEP Ohio can delay the need for new generation capacity and the related rate impact.”

The home is one of numerous AEP Ohio/Columbia Gas of Ohio ENERGY STAR New Homes being built by participating builders. Through a combination of advanced building practices, high-efficiency equipment and additional construction requirements, AEP Ohio and Columbia Gas of Ohio are working with qualified builders and home energy rating companies to promote a higher standard in the construction of energy-efficient new homes.          

Using the latest technology and building science techniques, homes in any price range, size and style can be built more efficiently without sacrificing home design or comfort. AEP Ohio/Columbia Gas of Ohio ENERGY STAR New Homes feature ENERGY STAR qualified heating and cooling equipment; ENERGY STAR qualified lighting and appliances; well-designed and sealed duct systems; mechanical ventilation and insulated, well-sealed construction. According to the EPA, each ENERGY STAR qualified home keeps 4,500 pounds of greenhouse gases out of the air each year.

As a result, owners of AEP Ohio/Columbia Gas of Ohio ENERGY STAR New Homes benefit from lower energy and maintenance bills, healthier indoor air quality, greater year-round comfort and assurance that their home meets high standards for energy performance.

Participating builders must meet stringent energy performance guidelines to build an AEP Ohio/Columbia Gas of Ohio ENERGY STAR New Home. They work with certified home energy raters who are involved in every step of the process, including evaluating plans to ensure each home meets program requirements, inspecting installed energy efficiency measures and testing and certifying that the home meets ENERGY STAR and program guidelines upon completion.

For more information about the ENERGY STAR New Homes Program and a list of participating builders, visit gridSMARTOhio.com

 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, and is a unit of American Electric Power.

 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 nearly 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 and north Texas). AEP’s headquarters are in Columbus, Ohio. News releases and other information about AEP can be found at www.aep.com



Carmen Prati-Miller

Corporate Communications



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