10/3/2011
Help Available For Those Struggling To Make Ends Meet

COLUMBUS, OH (October 3, 2011) – The Neighbor to Neighbor Program, a partnership between AEP Ohio, a unit of American Electric Power (NYSE: AEP), and Dollar Energy Fund, one of the largest hardship funds in the country, will provide utility assistance grants for the 2011-2012 program year starting today, Monday, October 3rd.  Eligible, low-income AEP Ohio customers can apply for assistance to maintain or restore safe electric service.

 

“Many of our less-fortunate neighbors are struggling to make ends meet during this difficult economic climate,” says Chad Quinn, Dollar Energy Fund’s Chief Operating Officer. “The Neighbor to Neighbor Program provides these households with a one-time assistance grant that’s applied directly to their AEP Ohio account and prevents the termination of their electric service.”

 

AEP Ohio and Dollar Energy Fund launched the Ohio Neighbor to Neighbor Program in May 2009. Since then approximately 20,000 Ohio families have been helped with more than $5 million in utility assistance grants. Last year, the Neighbor to Neighbor Program helped more than 6,800 low-income families with their AEP Ohio electric bill. This year, the program expects another 8,000 families will receive assistance.

 

“This program continues to provide much needed assistance to Ohio families who are experiencing financial hardships and need assistance to help get them back on their feet, ” said Joe Hamrock, president and chief operating officer for AEP Ohio. “AEP Ohio is committed to continuing to help customers through these challenging economic times.”

 

The Neighbor to Neighbor Program’s network of more than 120 Ohio Community Based Organizations will begin taking applications on October 3rd. To qualify, 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 $44,700 per year is income eligible for the program. 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 aepohio.com or dollarenergyfund.org.

 

The program will accept heating assistance applications through April 30, 2012, for customers whose service is off or in threat of termination.  The program will reopen from June 1, 2012, through August 31, 2012, for households seeking cooling assistance.

 

“The Neighbor to Neighbor Program has been able to help thousands of low-income families in Ohio thanks to the generous contributions we receive,” Quinn said. “The program illustrates how successful we can be when we work together, as neighbors helping neighbors, to assist those who are truly in need.”

 

 

AEP Ohio customers may make a contribution through their monthly 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. Every donation to the Neighbor to Neighbor Program receives a dollar-for-dollar match and all funds are used to assist low-income families residing in Ohio.

 

For more information about Dollar Energy Fund and how to apply for the Hardship Program or donate to the organization, visit www.dollarenergyfund.org.

 

 

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, Texas, Maryland, Louisiana and West Virginia. Throughout its history, the organization has provided over $84 million in utility assistance grants to over 300,000 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 or on the Ohio Neighbor to Neighbor Facebook page

Mark Rickel
614-232-8309

Shelly Clark, AEP Ohio
866-530-9775

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