AEP Ohio Neighbor to Neighbor Program Provides Over $125,000 in Utility Assistance in One Month

Jun 25, 2009, 09:51 ET from Dollar Energy Fund from ,AEP Ohio

More than 450 Low-income Families Helped in First Month

COLUMBUS, Ohio, June 25 /PRNewswire/ -- 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 on May 12, 2009. In the first month of the program, more than 450 low-income families have been helped with over $125,000 in grants. The Neighbor to Neighbor Program helps low-income AEP Ohio customers maintain or restore their electric service by providing a utility assistance grant applied directly to their bill.

"Many AEP Ohio families are in need of a helping hand during these challenging economic times," said Joe Hamrock, president and chief operating officer for AEP Ohio. "We encourage those who are able to help to reach out to others in need by contributing to the Neighbor to Neighbor program. We are proud of the efforts so far and we continue to seek ways to promote the program to offer assistance to other struggling families."

"The demand we have seen in the first month of this program highlights the need for utility assistance in Ohio," 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 safe electric service." AEP Ohio provided $1 million to the Neighbor to Neighbor 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. Full eligibility guidelines and application instructions can be found at

A network of more than 90 Community Based Organizations throughout Ohio provide application intake services for the Neighbor to Neighbor Program. In addition, these dedicated agencies provide referrals to other services and programs that may benefit low-income families and seniors. Dollar Energy Fund is still growing its network of Neighbor to Neighbor agencies. Interested organizations can visit to learn more about becoming a part of this network.

"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." Beginning in June, 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 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,

SOURCE Dollar Energy Fund; AEP Ohio