5/12/2009

New Utility Assistance Program Available for Low-income Families

[May 12, 2009 - Columbus, OH] As many low-income families continue to struggle with rising costs of everyday living expenses, AEP Ohio announces a new partnership with Dollar Energy Fund, a non-profit hardship fund, to help low-income families in Ohio. AEP Ohio will provide $1 million in utility assistance through the Neighbor to Neighbor Program to help their low-income customers.

"Today’s economy combined with the cold winter will force many of our neighbors to face large utility balances this spring," said Chad Quinn, COO of Dollar Energy Fund. "AEP Ohio’s generous donation to the Neighbor to Neighbor Program will help thousands of low-income families keep safe electric service. We are proud to partner with a company that is so dedicated to their customers and look forward to serving our neighbors in Ohio." Dollar Energy Fund and AEP Ohio began distributing utility assistance grants through the Neighbor to Neighbor Program on May 4, 2009.

"AEP Ohio continues to look for ways to help ease the burdens many Ohio families in our service territory are facing," said Joe Hamrock, president and chief operating officer for AEP Ohio. "We are proud to offer the Neighbor to Neighbor program to our low-income customers and provide them an additional resource for help in paying their electric bill. In addition, we encourage those who are able to help to reach out to those in need and make a donation to this worthwhile program."

A family of four earning up to $44,100 per year is income eligible for the program. To qualify, households must have made a sincere effort of payment on their electric bill in the last 90 days and have a back balance. A network of Community Based Organizations throughout Ohio will provide application intake services. Full eligibility guidelines and application instructions can be found at www.dollarenergyfund.org.

"I would like to extend a challenge to the local community," said Quinn. "Help Dollar Energy Fund maximize AEP Ohio’s donation and help nearly 10,000 of your neighbors. AEP Ohio will match every dollar donated to the Neighbor to Neighbor Program. This initiative will double the impact of your tax-deductible gift." Give to the Neighbor to Neighbor Program by donating through your AEP Ohio bill or online at www.dollarenergyfund.org. All donations to the Neighbor to Neighbor Program will assist low-income families residing in Ohio.

To learn more, visit the Neighbor to Neighbor section of AEPOhio.com.

Terri Flora, AEP Ohio
866-641-1151 or 883-7999
tmflora@aep.com

Mark Rickel, Lesic & Camper
614-232-8309
mrickel@lesiccamper.com

Erin O’Donnell, Dollar Energy Fund
412-390-3882
eodonnell@dollarenergy.org