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Surge protection now available for customers as part of AEP Ohio’s Home Warranty Program

Surge lighting with house

Beginning in early March, AEP Ohio will offer residential customers who rent the option of obtaining protection to repair or replace electrical products damaged due to power surges. This new coverage is one of several service plans offered by the company’s home warranty program announced last May, through its partnership with HomeServe USA, a third-party home repair service provider.

The roll out will be conducted in phases, first to rental customers, and then expanded to include homeowners later this year.

“We are pleased to be able to offer rental customers Electrical Surge Coverage, an optional program that can help repair or replace electronics such as computers, televisions, tablets and other consumer appliances that are damaged as a result of an electrical surge,” said Karen Sloneker, director of customer services and marketing – AEP Ohio. “Should this equipment be damaged, the cost to repair or replace them can be expensive. We are happy to be able to offer this program first to renters, and look forward to expanding the program to include homeowners later this year.”

The Electrical Surge Coverage costs about $6.00 a month and will be added to the customer’s monthly electric bill. Customers may cancel the warranty coverage at any time.

With this optional protection provided by HomeServe, AEP Ohio customers will get:

  • Up to $3,000 in coverage annually (30-day waiting period with a money-back guarantee for covered repairs)
  • 24-hour repair hotline
  • Priority repair status
  • Multiple service calls per year, up to customer’s annual benefit amount
  • Repairs performed by local, certified electricians
  • One-year guarantee on all covered repairs

The program covers electrical products with a value of more than $100. Electrical products that cannot be repaired will be replaced with a product that is similar in kind and quality.

HomeServe will began mailing introductory postcards to rental customers on today, followed by enrollment letters beginning March 10.

For more information on Electrical Surge Coverage, visit AEPOhio.com/SurgeProtection.

Valley Converting Co. awarded $20,772.74 in incentives for energy efficiency measures

AEP Ohio awards Valley Converting Co. with an incentive check for its participation in the Continuous Energy Improvement program. Pictured here from left to right are Rich Brandt, plant manager’ Mike Biasi, president; Tracie Campbell,  AEP Ohio energy efficiency marketing coordinator and Fred Rogers, AEP Ohio customer service engineer.

AEP Ohio awards Valley Converting Co. with an incentive check for its participation in the Continuous Energy Improvement program. Pictured here from left to right are Rich Brandt, plant manager’ Mike Biasi, president; Tracie Campbell, AEP Ohio energy efficiency marketing coordinator and Fred Rogers, AEP Ohio customer service engineer.

Yesterday, we awarded Valley Converting Co. a check for $20,772.74 for its participation in our Continuous Energy Improvement (CEI) program. The program helps businesses identify and implement low cost/no cost measures and provides incentives to qualifying participants.

In 2014, Valley Converting, a manufacturer and converter of recycled paperboard based in Toronto, Ohio, completed a year-long project to reduce energy use and save money utilizing low cost/no cost measures. The measures implemented will save Valley Converting approximately 1,038,637 kilowatt-hours (kWh) per year and an estimated savings of more than $20,000 in energy costs each year.

Through the CEI Program, Valley Converting was able to identify a key energy saving measure – tuning the vacuum porting water removal pumps in the drying process – which resulted in the removal of a 200 HP motor and other periphery equipment that reduced electricity by approximately 100,000 kWh each month without impacting production.

“Valley Converting has always promoted a culture of sustainability through a strong connection to the local community and by emphasizing reuse and recycling efforts,” stated President Mike Biasi.

“The CEI program is ideal to engage the entire customer facility.  It also is an unparalleled tool to completely revamp industrial energy use. The low cost/no cost measures are achievable and drive energy understanding so eventually capital improvements follow,” said Michelle Cross, AEP Ohio CEI Program Manager. 

Since 2009, AEP Ohio has helped customers reduce power usage by 1,697 gigawatt-hours (GWh), saving more than $1 billion. AEP Ohio offers a variety of energy efficiency programs and discounts to help business and residential customers to stop wasting energy and start saving money. For more information, visit AEPOhio.com/Solutions (business) or AEPOhio.com/WasteLess (residents).

Commit to Energy Efficiency in 2015

A new year means a new you, right?

new years resolutionMost people promise themselves that they will start eating healthier, or that they will actually use the gym membership they’ve been paying for. Here at AEP Ohio, we want to challenge you to make a commitment that you’ll want to see through because it saves you money. Follow these three small steps to commit to energy efficiency in 2015.

1.  Power down and unplug

Ever get into the habit of keeping the coffee pot plugged in after you leave for work? Or what about keeping your computer on all day, even when you aren’t using it? One quick and easy way to cut back on energy and ultimately save money is by turning off and unplugging appliances and other items that you are not using. According to Energy.gov, leaving a computer on all day can cost 21 cents per day, which totals over $75/year.

Bonus: Challenge yourself to turn off all the lights before you leave and unplug any items that do not need to stay plugged in. For every day that you accomplish it, set aside a dollar and at the end of the year reward yourself with a gift.

2.  Schedule an In-home Energy Assessment

You know all those things you said you were going to do in 2014, but never got around to? Now is the perfect time to get an in-home energy assessment. During the assessment, a certified energy auditor will install several free energy-saving items that will provide immediate energy savings once in place. Plus, the auditor will provide you with recommendations on improvements to make your home more comfortable and efficient.

3.  Give yourself the gift of a new energy-efficient appliance.

What better way to start off the New Year than with a gift to yourself that will save you money? When buying a new appliance, first make sure to check out the energy guide label on the appliance. By reviewing the label, you can get an idea of what your new appliance will cost you per year in operating costs and electricity use. You can also check out our previous blog post about how to choose the best energy efficient appliances.

As with any New Year’s resolution, start by slowly changing your habits. For example, if you like to fall asleep with the TV on try to only leave it on for three nights of the week, rather than all five. Also, if you slip up it’s okay you can try again. Make sure to set your goals clearly and take small steps to reach them.

For more ways to save, check out AEPOhio.com/WasteLess.

AEP Ohio Donates ENERGY STAR CFL Bulbs to Mid-Ohio Foodbank

mid ohio food bankThis winter struggling Ohioans from across the state will receive energy efficient bulbs to help reduce energy use and costs, freeing up their limited resources for life’s other necessities.

For the third year in a row, AEP Ohio is proud to donate over 200,000 ENERGY STAR® certified compact fluorescent light (CFL) bulbs to the Mid-Ohio Foodbank in Columbus, Ohio.

 FL bulbs use about 75 percent less energy than standard incandescent bulbs, which can save about $50 or more in electricity costs over the course of each bulb’s lifetime.

This year an Ohio distributor, MegaLight, supplied the CFL bulbs. The company provides a full range of energy-efficient, environmentally-friendly lighting products primarily designed for the North American market.

“We are honored to partner with MegaLight to give out energy efficient bulbs this winter,” David Tabata, AEP Ohio EE Consumer Manager said. “These bulbs are one more way we can help people in need save on energy.”

AEP Ohio’s longstanding partnership with Mid-Ohio Foodbank affords the electric company the opportunity to distribute CFL bulbs to low-income Ohioans in eight counties throughout the state.

The donation is part of AEP Ohio’s Efficient Products Program, offering customers discounted CFLs through participating retailers to help people reduce wasted energy, save money and protect the environment.

“The Foodbank’s long standing partnership with AEP Ohio has gone a long way in connecting nutritious food to our hungry neighbors,” said Matt Habash, president and CEO of Mid-Ohio Foodbank. “The CFL bulb donation allows our neighbors, struggling to make ends meet, to focus their resources on accessing nourishing food instead of purchasing these much-needed household items.”

Low-income residential customers are also eligible for the installation of a wide range of higher efficiency, cost-effective lighting, appliances, heating and cooling equipment, weatherization upgrades and other electrical safety measures. For more information about this program, customers can call AEP Ohio at 1-800-545-4112.

Since 2009, AEP Ohio has helped customers reduce power usage by 2,171.75 gigawatt-hours, saving more than $1 billion. AEP Ohio offers a variety of energy efficiency programs and discounts to help residential and business customers to stop wasting energy and start saving money. For more information, visit AEPOhio.com/WasteLess (residential) or AEPOhio.com/Solutions (business).

Group of Zanesville Artists Create Recycled Refrigerator Art for AEP Ohio

Zanesville fridgeBlending the talents of multiple artists together is the perfect recipe for something beautiful.

That’s exactly what Joleen Kinsel, Natasha Oliver and Carrier Turner from The Artist Collective in Zanesville, Ohio displayed when they worked together to turn a 1940s refrigerator into a piece of art. The vintage refrigerator was transformed as a way to educate customers about our Appliance Recycling Program.

“Our differences were our inspiration,” Kinsel said. “We wanted to create a work of art that pulled in traits from our three favorite artists, Salvador Dali, Andy Warhol and Vincent Van Gogh. We proved that you could mesh different styles and genres together and make something amazing.”

The transformed refrigerator will be on display at their gallery, The Artist Collective, located inside the Masonic Temple on 38 N. 4th St. in Room 512, until the end of December.

“I enjoyed getting to do this project with my best friends,” Kinsel said. “Art pulls us all together and keeps us together. It allows us to express with color and shape what we feel and inspires others to look at things differently.”

Kinsel, Turner and Oliver have been working together since they opened their gallery in 2012, but this is the first project they have ever completed together. The three artists mixed their love for pop, impressionistic, expressionistic and unusual art to create something beautiful. Their gallery features up and coming artists, unique displays, art parties, classes and exhibits each month on First Friday Art Walks.

The Appliance Recycling Program is part of our initiative to help customers use less energy, decrease energy costs, conserve natural resources and protect the environment. AEP Ohio customers can earn a $50 rebate when they schedule their inefficient refrigerator or freezer to be recycled, and we’ll pick up the appliance free of charge.

For additional information about AEP Ohio’s energy efficient programs, visit AEPOhio.com/WasteLess.

Is your home ready for winter?

Brrr…

Winter is around the corner, which means colder weather is on its way for Ohioans. Staying warm is a top priority, but can you save money while doing it?

Aside from snuggling under blankets or drinking hot chocolate, we have a few tips on how to prepare your home for wintry weather while putting more money back into your bank account.

 doggie draft stopperRemove drafts

  • According to the U.S. Department of Energy, drafts can waste 5 to 30 percent of your energy use. But, how do you prevent the cold air from blowing in your home?
  • Use a draft snake stopper (or dog). [See photo.]
  • Caulk around windows and doors if the gap is bigger than the width of a nickel.
  • Install storm doors and windows. This can increase efficiency by 45 percent. If you purchase energy efficient doors, windows and skylights you can also qualify for a federal tax credit covering 30 percent of the cost, up to $1500.

Thermostat 101

  • Turn down the heat when you leave your house. Every degree you lower the thermostat, can save one to three percent on your bill.
  • Purchasing a programmable thermostat will help keep tabs on temperature. They are available for $50, but can save the average family $180 per year.

Reverse your ceiling fan

  • This can cut heating costs by as much as 10 percent.
  • That’s right, your fan doesn’t just keep you cold. Run the fan in a clockwise direction creating an upward draft and pushing hot air down.

Change furnace filters

  • This should be done once per month during heating season.
  • Buy filters in bulk and store them near the furnace. This will reduce the cost of each filter, and serve as a constant reminder to change your filter each month.

Consider switching to LEDs for your holiday lighting

  • LED lights use 75 percent less energy helping you to save on your electric bill.
  • LED holiday lights last 25 times longer.
  • LED lights are safer because they generate less heat.

Other quick tips include using your fireplace more, tuning up your heating system, cleaning your gutters and assessing your roof for missing shingles.

Also, now is the perfect time to take an extra step and conduct an online energy check-up. This will help you save on both money and energy during the holiday and winter seasons!

For more ways to save, check out the in-home energy assessment and AEPOhio.com/WasteLess.

 

Second Ohio Artist Repurposes Inefficient Appliance

before and after freezer artYou won’t be able to recognize this 1950s Westinghouse freezer when Canton artist and gallery owner, Su Nimon, is done with it.

Nimon has been transforming the inefficient appliance into a work of art as a way to educate customers about our Appliance Recycling Program.

Come out and watch the transformation in progress tonight from 6 – 9:00 p.m. in the front window of Journey Art Gallery, during downtown Canton’s First Friday event in the Canton Arts District. After the process is complete, the freezer will be on display until the end of November.

“It has been fun to visualize this old freezer as something new,” Nimon said. “As a visual artist, my goal is to inspire and enrich. I want this freezer to bring feelings of freedom, inspiration and encouragement.”

 Nimon grew up in Ohio, and although she has spent much of her life as an engineer and later a graphic designer, she dove back into fine arts when she opened her first studio in 2007. She specializes in expressive acrylic painting. Journey Art Gallery hosts a series of painting, yoga and meditation classes each week.

The Appliance Recycling Program is part of our initiative to help customers use less energy, decrease energy costs, conserve natural resources and protect the environment. AEP Ohio customers can earn a $50 rebate when they schedule their inefficient refrigerator or freezer to be recycled, and we’ll pick up the appliance free of charge.

We’re not done yet. Keep your eyes peeled for two more inefficient appliances transformed by local artists.

 Together, we’re working to promote recycling!

 For additional information about AEP Ohio’s energy efficient programs, visit AEPOhio.com/WasteLess

 

Ohio Artists Transform Vintage Appliances into Art for AEP Ohio

Did you know that recycling an old refrigerator or freezer could save you up to $150 a year in energy costs and help protect the environment? 

Fridge as ArtAs a way to educate customers about our Appliance Recycling Program, we’re working with artists across the state to transform inefficient appliances into pieces of art. 

This Friday, during Nelsonville’s Final Friday on the Square, a transformed 1937 refrigerator will make its first appearance at Starbrick Cooperative Gallery, where it will be on display through late November. 

Teresa Sager, an artist from Athens who specializes in mixed media and encaustic painting, saw this as an opportunity to transform something inefficient into a beautiful piece of art, and a time capsule. 

“I loved the process of painting this refrigerator. It was amazing to see it evolve into something that will encourage others to recycle now and in the future,” said Sager. “It will be difficult to look at this vintage refrigerator and not smile.” 

Sager used a mixture of spray paint, acrylics, duct tape, collectible memorabilia and handmade paper to transform the refrigerator. Viewers are encouraged to bring time capsule items to place in the refrigerator throughout its time on display at the gallery. 

Keep an eye out for other transformed appliances across the state as we work together to promote recycling! 

For additional information about AEP Ohio’s energy efficiency programs, visit AEPOhio.com/WasteLess.

 

Did you know October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month?

As a disability-friendly workplace, AEP Ohio is proud to celebrate National Disability Employment Awareness this month and year-round.

In honor of #NDEAM, we feature an article about employee Mark Hasson. Read on as Hasson shares his personal experiences.

mark hassonMark Hasson, a paraplegic, has been with the company since 2006 and works as an administrative associate in the Joint Use group. He is responsible for coordinating the approval process which allows telephone and cable utilities to attach their lines to AEP Ohio’s poles.

As a disabled employee, Hasson says he has had a positive experience working for the company. He works in AEP Ohio’s headquarters building located in Gahanna.

“When I came to work for the company, the building was already wheelchair accessible, but they did install automatic door openers to make it easier for me to enter and exit the building,” Hasson said.

An active individual, Hasson believes exercise is the key to longevity and good health and regularly rides Columbus’ bike trails on his Freedom Ryder, a specially-made bike that allows him to cycle using his hands. He also has a strong mechanical inclination and does all the repairs on his vehicle.Freedom Ryder

He’s very involved in activities at his church and credits his strong faith for carrying him through life and helping him overcome challenges.

Hasson has been married for 34 years to his wife, Robin, whom he’s known since the age of 15. They have a daughter, 32, who is a nurse.

A Vietnam-era veteran, Hasson served in Korea as an infantry soldier in the U.S. Army.

Employees are often unsure of how to interact with disabled employees. “What I would like others to know, is that when it comes to offering to help me, I would rather do it myself. And if I can’t, I will gladly ask for and accept help.” Hasson explained. “Basically, we just want to be respected like anyone else.”

 

How to choose the best energy efficient appliances

Source: energy.gov

Source: energy.gov

Buying an energy-efficient home appliance can be daunting.

There are so many choices and things to consider like cost, brand, features and design. Do you know what makes one appliance more efficient than another?

AEP Ohio wants to make it a little easier for you! Here are a few tips on what to look for when choosing a new appliance.

Check out the Energy Guide label on the appliance

The first step in choosing a new appliance is to read the Energy Guide on the appliance.

energyguidelabelAll major home appliances must now meet energy efficiency standards set by the US Department of Energy (DOE). Manufacturers are required to display test results on the appliance, which are printed on a yellow Energy Guide label.

By reviewing the label, you can get an idea of what your new appliance will cost you per year in operating costs and electricity use.

The first figure on the label provides an estimate of the yearly operating cost of the appliance based on a comparison of similar products.

The second figure represents an estimate of the number of kilowatt hours (electricity use) the appliance uses per year.

Your exact costs will depend on utility rates and the type and source of your energy.

Now let’s look at some suggestions of what to look for when purchasing a refrigerator, dishwasher, clothes washer and dryer.

 Refrigerator:

  • Size. Make sure you know how much food you need to store in your refrigerator. Buying a refrigerator that is too large will use more, unnecessary energy.
  • Freezer location. The location of your freezer can have an impact on the amount of energy used by a refrigerator. Having your freezer on the top or bottom is more efficient than on the side.

 Dishwasher:

  • Low energy use. You’ll want to find a dishwasher that requires less energy. The dishes will still get clean, just more efficiently.
  • Low water use. Some dishwashers can use half as much water as others, adding up to huge saving throughout the year.
  • Stainless steel interior. Compared to a plastic interior, stainless steel reduces noise, withstands higher temperatures and retains heat better.
  • Wash cycle option. Look for a dishwasher with a “soil sensor,” which allows the appliance to recognize how dirty the dishes are before beginning a cycle, saving on overall energy.
  • Energy-saving no-heat-air-dry. Did you know that the drying of dishes uses 7 percent of dishwasher energy? Buying a dishwasher with a no-heat-air-dry option will cut energy use even further.

 Clothes Washer:

  • Front vs. top load. Front load washers tend to be more energy efficient than top load. Not only do they use less water, but also people usually don’t fill a top load washer to its capacity, making it less efficient.
  • Water level controls. Many washers give you the ability to determine how much water should be used based on the size of the load. This will instantly save on energy.
  • Faster spin speed. This can allow for better water extraction, ultimately allowing for less energy use on drying.

 Clothes Dryer:

  • Moisture sensor. Finding a dryer with a moisture sensor will allow the appliance to automatically shut off when your clothes are dry. This saves on overall energy and reduces unnecessary wear and tear from over-drying.

Visit AEPOhio.com/WasteLess to learn more.

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