12/2/2015
NEIGHBOR TO NEIGHBOR PROGRAM KICKS OFF WINTER HEATING SEASON

GAHANNA, Ohio – Dec. 2, 2015 – For many, the holiday season is a time for giving and spreading joy to others. The Ohio Neighbor to Neighbor Program, in partnership with AEP Ohio, a unit of American Electric Power (NYSE: AEP), and Dollar Energy Fund, one of the largest hardship funds in the country, are making it possible to bring a little happiness to those in Ohio communities through a massive group effort.

Eligible AEP Ohio customers can now apply for utility assistance grants for the 2015-2016 winter heating season to maintain or restore electric service.

The Neighbor to Neighbor program helps those who are experiencing financial hardships and need help to get back on their feet. Dollar Energy Fund’s Hardship Program provides one-time assistance to families facing an immediate utility crisis.  With help from the Neighbor to Neighbor Program, families in need can receive a grant that’s applied directly to their AEP Ohio account and prevents the termination of their electric service. Beginning this month, the program will accept applications from households seeking heating assistance through April 30, 2016.

“Financial hardship is something that can affect any Ohio family. This program was established to give a little support for a family or individual faced with unexpected expenses or a loss of a job,” said Pablo Vegas, president and chief operating officer of AEP Ohio. “AEP Ohio is committed to working with those customers to ensure their electric service continues, if they are struggling to make ends meet.”

The Neighbor to Neighbor program offers assistance to families facing termination of service with a grant that’s applied directly to their AEP Ohio account. AEP Ohio and Dollar Energy Fund launched the Ohio Neighbor to Neighbor Program in May 2009 and have helped more than 42,000 Ohio families with more than $11 million in utility assistance grants.

“Neighbor to Neighbor has become a program that typically serves the families who find themselves facing temporary financial difficulties due to an unexpected expense or loss of income,” said Chad Quinn, chief executive officer of Dollar Energy Fund.  “The Neighbor to Neighbor Program is available to lend a helping hand to Ohioans who may be struggling to keep food on the table or cover other household costs.”

For those who need assistance – or know someone in need – now is the time to reach out and apply.

The Neighbor to Neighbor Program’s network of more than 120 Ohio community-based organizations is now taking applications. 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 $48,500 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/helpaneighbor.

For those able to help, this holiday season provides a chance to pay it forward.

The Neighbor to Neighbor Program in Ohio is funded by public contributions that are matched dollar-for-dollar by AEP Ohio.  Utility customers may make a contribution through their monthly AEP Ohio bill. Donations can also be made online at AEPOhio.com/helpaneighbor 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 is used to assist eligible 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.

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About AEP Ohio and AEP

AEP Ohio provides electricity to nearly 1.5 million customers of major AEP subsidiary Ohio Power Company in Ohio. AEP Ohio is based in Gahanna, Ohio, and is a unit of American Electric Power. News and information about AEP Ohio can be found at AEPOhio.com.

American Electric Power is one of the largest electric utilities in the United States, delivering electricity to more than 5.3 million customers in 11 states. AEP ranks among the nation’s largest generators of electricity, owning nearly 32,000 megawatts of generating capacity in the U.S. AEP also owns the nation’s largest electricity transmission system, a 40,000-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 AEP.com.

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 Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Tennessee, Texas, Maryland, Louisiana, Arkansas , West Virginia, Kentucky and California. Throughout its history, the organization has provided over $125 million in utility assistance grants to over 447,000 limited-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.

 

MEDIA CONTACT:

Fay White                 
1-866-641-1151

aepohiomediarelations@aep.com

 

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