8/24/2009

$750,000 in Utility Assistance Distributed through AEP Ohio’s Neighbor to Neighbor Program
Assistance Still Available to Low-Income AEP Ohio Customers

[August 21, 2009] AEP Ohio’s Neighbor to Neighbor Program has granted more than $750,000 in utility assistance to help low-income customers maintain or restore their electric service and assistance is still available. In May 2009, AEP Ohio, a unit of American Electric Power (NYSE: AEP), and Dollar Energy Fund, a non-profit hardship fund, announced the creation of the AEP Ohio Neighbor to Neighbor Program.  AEP Ohio provided $1 million to the program.

Since the program opened, more than 100 community based organizations have joined the program’s network and have helped over 2,900 low-income households receive more than $750,000 in utility assistance grants applied directly to their AEP Ohio account.

“We are proud to partner with AEP Ohio to provide this much needed assistance,” said Chad Quinn, COO of Dollar Energy Fund. “Thanks to AEP Ohio’s generous donation to the Neighbor to Neighbor Program thousands of low-income families will keep electric service.”

“This program is providing much needed assistance to Ohio families  who need help paying their utility bills and may not be eligible for other types of aid,”  said Joe Hamrock, president and chief operating officer for  AEP Ohio. “AEP Ohio is proud to provide this support to help customers through these challenging economic times.”

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 $44,100 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. Full eligibility guidelines and application instructions can be found at www.dollarenergyfund.org.

“We want to help our neighbors, especially those who are elderly and disabled, be comfortable in their homes, especially during the summer and winter months when temperatures can be extreme.  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.”

AEP Ohio customers are able to contribute a dollar or more to the Neighbor to Neighbor Program through their monthly AEP Ohio bill. Donations can also be made online at www.dollarenergyfund.org. All donations to the Neighbor to Neighbor Program will assist low-income families residing in Ohio.

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 the fourth largest hardship fund in the United States. Dollar Energy Fund is a 501 (c) 3 organization operating in Pennsylvania, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Ohio and West Virginia. Throughout its history, the organization has provided over $60 million in utility assistance grants to over 250,000 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.

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

Shelly Haugh, AEP Ohio
888-930-6446