4/25/2016
EPA RECOGNIZES AEP OHIO AND COLUMBIA GAS OF OHIO WITH 2016 ENERGY STAR® PARTNER OF THE YEAR SUSTAINED EXCELLENCE AWARD AND MARKET LEADER AWARD

EfficiencyCrafted® Homes program earns awards for greater protection of the environment through energy efficiency

GAHANNA, Ohio, APRIL 25, 2016 – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has recognized AEP Ohio, a unit of American Electric Power (NYSE: AEP), and Columbia Gas of Ohio with a prestigious 2016 ENERGY STAR Partner of the Year—Sustained Excellence Award and a Market Leader Award for continued leadership in protecting the environment through superior energy efficiency.

Through its cobranded program EfficiencyCrafted®, AEP Ohio and Columbia Gas of Ohio collaborate in overlapping territories to assist homebuilders in incorporating energy upgrades that exceed current code and provide greater energy savings and built-in value. The program also recognizes builders who attain the level of EfficiencyCrafted plus ENERGY STAR Certified.

“By continued collaboration with ENERGY STAR, AEP Ohio and Columbia Gas of Ohio are helping Americans save money, save energy and do their part to reduce our nation’s greenhouse gas emissions that exacerbate climate change,” said EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy. “I’m proud to recognize AEP Ohio and Columbia Gas of Ohio with the highest form of ENERGY STAR recognition as the winner of the 2016 Partner of the Year – Sustained Excellence Award. AEP Ohio and Columbia Gas of Ohio demonstrate a strong commitment to energy efficiency and to preserving a healthy planet for future generations.”

The two utilities’ accomplishments were recognized in Washington, D.C. on April 13, 2016. This is the fifth consecutive year that AEP Ohio and Columbia Gas of Ohio have received ENERGY STAR’s Partner of the Year Award.

Since it was introduced in September 2010, over 120 builders have been enrolled in the program and more than 10,100 EfficiencyCrafted homes have been built. Nearly half of these also have earned the ENERGY STAR® Certified Homes label, which requires builders to incorporate a number of additional building and energy performance features.

“We are honored to have our cobranded energy efficiency program for new construction with Columbia Gas of Ohio recognized by the EPA. Collectively, these homes are estimated to have saved over 25 million kilowatt-hours of electricity and more than 2.9 million cubic feet of natural gas,” said Jon Williams, manager of energy efficiency and consumer programs, AEP Ohio.

Dan Creekmur, president of Columbia Gas of Ohio further explained, “Our EfficiencyCrafted program not only builds energy efficient homes for our customers, but it also provides both monetary and energy savings. Those energy savings provide environmental benefits for our current customers and future generations.” The cumulative lifetime value of the energy savings from these houses not only reduces energy costs for homeowners, but it is equivalent to the carbon sequestered by more than 625,500 acres of trees for one year according to the EPA.

The EPA gives the 2016 Partner of the Year - Sustained Excellence Awards to recognize organizations’ contributions in reducing greenhouse gas emissions through superior energy efficiency. These winners have reduced greenhouse gas emissions by setting and achieving aggressive goals and employing innovative energy efficiency approaches. These awards recognize ongoing leadership across the ENERGY STAR program, including energy-efficient products, services, new homes, and buildings in the commercial, industrial and public sectors. The EPA selects award winners from the 16,000 organizations that participate in the ENERGY STAR program.

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About AEP Ohio / Columbia Gas of Ohio

EfficiencyCrafted Homes Program

Through the cobranded EfficiencyCrafted Homes program, AEP Ohio and Columbia Gas of Ohio are working together to promote energy performance that exceeds code-built homes. EfficiencyCrafted ENERGY STAR Certified homes employ proven technologies and advanced building practices to use approximately 20-50 percent less energy than conventionally built homes.

The comfort and efficiency of a home in any price range or style can be improved through advanced building practices, enhanced insulation, performance tested ducts, building envelope air sealing, mechanical ventilation, and higher efficiency and properly sized heating and cooling systems. ENERGY STAR lighting, appliances and windows help to increase energy efficiency of the home.

Homeowners experience:

· Lower energy bills.

· Improved comfort – homes will be warmer in the winter, cooler in the summer, free from drafts, quieter and more durable.

· Peace of mind – homes must pass third party inspection, testing and energy modeling by an energy Rater certified under HERS® / RESNET®.

· A healthier living environment – mechanical ventilation systems promote better indoor air quality.

· Environmental benefits – more efficient homes help mitigate global climate change by producing fewer harmful emissions and reduce associated health costs due to chronic respiratory ailments.

AEP Ohio provides electricity to nearly 1.5 million customers of major AEP subsidiaries Ohio Power Company in Ohio. AEP Ohio is based in Gahanna, Ohio, and is a unit of American Electric Power. For more information about AEP Ohio’s energy efficiency consumer programs, events and tips, visit AEPOhio.com.

American Electric Power is one of the largest electric utilities in the United States, delivering electricity and custom energy solutions to nearly 5.4 million customers in 11 states. AEP owns the nation’s largest electricity transmission system, a more than 40,000-mile network that includes more 765-kilovolt extra-high voltage transmission lines than all other U.S. transmission systems combined. AEP also operates 223,000 miles of distribution lines. AEP ranks among the nation’s largest generators of electricity, owning approximately 31,000 megawatts of generating capacity in the U.S. 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. News releases and other information about AEP can be found at AEP.com.

Columbia Gas of Ohio safely delivers clean and efficient natural gas to approximately 1.4 million customers in 61 of Ohio’s 88 counties. With headquarters in Columbus, it is one of the seven energy distribution companies of NiSource Inc. (NYSE: NI) and is the largest natural gas utility in the state. Columbia Gas of Ohio offers a variety of programs designed to help its residential and business customers save energy and money on their energy bills, while maintaining the comfort of their homes and businesses and doing something positive for the environment at the same time. For more information about Columbia’s energy-efficiency programs, visit ColumbiaGasOhio.com.

About ENERGY STAR

ENERGY STAR® is the simple choice for energy efficiency. For more than 20 years, people across America have looked to EPA’s ENERGY STAR program for guidance on how to save energy, save money, and protect the environment. Behind each blue label is a product, building, or home that is independently certified to use less energy and cause fewer of the emissions that contribute to climate change. Today, ENERGY STAR is the most widely recognized symbol for energy efficiency in the world, helping families and businesses save $362 billion on utility bills, while reducing greenhouse gas emissions by more than 2.4 billion metric tons since 1992. Join the millions who are already making a difference at energystar.gov.

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MEDIA CONTACTS:

Fay White
Corporate Communications
AEP Ohio
aepohiomediarelations@aep.com
W: 866-641-1151

Kelli Nowinsky
Communications & Community Relations Manager
Columbia Gas of Ohio
knowinsky@nisource.com
W: 614-406-4605

Kristinn Leonhart
ENERGY STAR Brand Manager
Leonhart.Kristinn@epa.gov
W: 202-343-9062

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