SWEPCO Provides Customer Assistance with Neighbor To Neighbor Program

SHREVEPORT, La., September 10, 2004 - AEP Southwestern Electric Power Company’s (SWEPCO) Neighbor To Neighbor energy assistance program, launched in February 1993, continues to assist families with their electric bills in times of need.
              Neighbor To Neighbor is a year-round emergency relief fund available to AEP SWEPCO customers throughout the company’s service territory of northeast Texas, western Arkansas and northwest Louisiana. The program is administered for the company through 12 designated community action agencies, and 100 percent of the funds collected by SWEPCO go back into the community. SWEPCO provides ongoing support to the program with a $30,000 contribution annually.
            “Summer temperatures can be life threatening if individuals don’t have adequate cooling,” says Keith Honey, SWEPCO’s external affairs manager in Longview. “The difficulties of financial hardship also are compounded when unexpected emergencies arise, and Neighbor To Neighbor is there to help.”
            Now in its 11th year, about $900,000 dollars in Neighbor To Neighbor funds have been generated from SWEPCO and over 10,000 of its customers to help some 12,000 families in SWEPCO’s three-state service area.
            Customers may make contributions to the energy fund by:
1)  Mailing in a one-time contribution to SWEPCO with their electric bill and mentioning the Neighbor To Neighbor program or
2)  Including additional money with their monthly electric bill.
            SWEPCO customers wishing to participate can call our 24-hour customer solutions phone number – 1-888-216-3523 – and request a brochure and sign-up card. The same information is available at the nearest social service agency office.
            The United Way or an associated agency receives requests for assistance and determines eligibility (SWEPCO does not determine who receives assistance). Contributions to Neighbor To Neighbor are tax deductible, and contributors will receive, for tax purposes, an annual report of contributions made during the year.

Scott McCloud
Communications Consultant