12/1/2010

AVERAGE MONTHLY PAYMENT PLAN ELIMINATES ELECTRIC BILL SPIKES BUT LESS THAN 10 PERCENT TAKE ADVANTAGE OF PLAN

Charleston, W.Va., December 1, 2010 – Cold winter weather is here and resulting higher electric heating bills will soon follow for many customers. Appalachian Power encourages customers to sign up now for the Average Monthly Payment (AMP) plan so they don’t get an electric bill that blows their budget. The AMP plan evens out bills from month to month, which is especially helpful during cold winter or hot summer weather when usage spikes.
 
Now is the best time to sign up for the AMP plan because cold temperatures will be around for the next several months, according to Jaime Beckelhimer, field customer services manager.  “Signing up for the AMP Plan is the single best thing customers can do to take control of their electric bills,” Beckelhimer said. “The AMP Plan is one of the best tools we have available to help customers, but surprisingly less than 10 percent of our customers use the plan. We’d like to see that change.”
 
The AMP plan allows customers to smooth out high usage bills over a 12-month period without the fear of paying a high settlement amount at the end of the billing year. Plus, deferred balances carry zero interest.
 
Here’s how the plan works:
·         The monthly payment on the AMP Plan is based on the average of the current month’s bill, plus the previous 11 months. Each month, the oldest bill is dropped and the new current bill is included in the average. As a result, the payment amount fluctuates slightly from month to month.
·         The difference between actual billings and the average billing is carried in a deferred balance that accumulates both debit and credit differences for the duration of the AMP Plan year, which is 12 consecutive months.
·         At the anniversary month, the deferred balance is divided by 12, and this one-twelfth amount is added to or subtracted from the average payment
  amount for the next 12 months.
·         The AMP Plan is different from and superior to the Budget Plan in which bills are exactly the same each month, but customers pay either a “settle up” amount or receive a credit at the end of each billing year.

Customers may visit AppalachianPower.com or contact the company’s Customer Solutions Center to sign up. Customers who plan to switch from the Budget plan to the AMP plan should contact a customer service representative for assistance. Appalachian Power’s Customer Solutions Center is available 24 hours a day at 1-800-982-4237 (W.Va.); 1-800-956-4237 (Va.); and 1-800-967-4237 (Tenn).
 
Appalachian Power has almost 1 million customers in Virginia, West Virginia and Tennessee (as AEP Appalachian Power). It is a unit of American Electric Power, one of the largest electric utilities in the United States, which delivers electricity to more than 5 million customers in 11 states. AEP ranks among the nation’s largest generators of electricity, owning nearly 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. 
 
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Phil Moye
Corporate Communications Manager
(304) 348-4188
pamoye@aep.com