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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.

Ready to shop? Get money back when you purchase select ENERGY STAR® certified appliances through AEP Ohio’s Appliance Rebate Program. Visit AEPOhio.com/WasteLess to learn more.

Energy Efficient Renovation Tips for Every Room in Your House

aep-ohio-interactive-houseA home renovation project can give you the opportunity to boost comfort levels, add convenience, space and lower energy costs by improving your home’s energy efficiency.

The first step to saving energy is to finding out how and where you’re wasting it. Get an energy assessment before starting your renovations to determine which rooms are problem areas in your home. Once you know where you’re wasting energy, follow these tips to make your home as energy efficient as possible.

Kitchen

  • Home renovations could mean shopping for new, more energy efficient kitchen appliances. Replace older appliances and equipment with high-efficiency
    ENERGY STAR® rated products. Rebates are available for AEP Ohio residential customers.
  • Install an oven hood that is externally vented to filter steam from your stove outside. Steam can contribute to the temperature in your home, making it harder for the A/C to keep your house cool in the summer.
  • Get $60 when you recycle your old, working refrigerator or freezer before August 31. Doing this can save you up to $150 a year in energy costs and protects the environment!

 Bathroom

  •  Invest $10 on a low-flow shower head and yield hot water savings of 25-60 percent.
  • Control moisture and save energy by installing ENERGY STAR qualified ventilation fans. See the EPA’s WaterSense program for information about high-performance products.
  • Seal air leaks and install the appropriate insulation in walls behind tubs and showers during your renovation.

Living Area

  • When redecorating after a big home renovation, make sure to keep furnishings away from floor or return air vents. Vents that are blocked can prevent air from circulating properly.
  • Switch to high-performance compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) and light-emitting diode (LED) bulbs. You’ll find a large selection of energy-efficient lighting, specialty CFLs and LEDs with immediate discounts in our online SMART Lighting Store.
  • Install a programmable thermostat and adjust temperatures at night, or when you are not at home, to lower your energy use and your bill!

Laundry Room

  • Take the time to inspect your dryer vent to ensure that it is not blocked. You may want to consider having it cleaned professionally while doing your other renovations.
  • If you are looking into buying a new dryer, consider purchasing a model with a moisture sensor that will automatically shut the machine off when your clothes are dry.
  • Ponder the idea of installing an outdoor laundry line during your renovation. Air-drying will save you the cost of running the dryer in warmer months and help your clothes last longer.

 Bedroom

  • Install a ceiling fan to keep cool air circulating at night without running up your energy bill.
  • Installation of lighting controls such as dimmers, timers, motion sensors and photocells can help you adjust lighting levels for different uses and times of the day. Keep your lights dimmed before bed to help you ease into sleep, and save energy at the same time.
  • If you have plans to install window treatments, (such as draperies, shades and shutters) hang them as close to the window as possible to create a sealed air space. Doing this can trap extra heat and keep you feeling warm!

 

AEP Ohio announces community winners in energy savers pilot program

Cities of Lima, Louisville and Discovery District of Columbus, exceed participation goals

Lima Check Presentation - CESThree fortunate Ohio communities — the cities of Lima, Louisville and the Discovery District of Columbus, located in the eastern half of Downtown Columbus — have exceeded their participation goals in AEP Ohio’s Community Energy Savers, an innovative, new energy efficiency pilot program.

The program works with governments and communities to encourage residents and businesses to participate in energy efficiency programs offered by AEP Ohio.

Not only do community members benefit from saving energy and money in their homes and businesses, but also their actions help the community receive incentives from AEP Ohio that can be put towards an improvement project identified by the community.

Louisville YMCAFor exceeding its goal of 750 participants, the city of Lima received $75,000 to use towards lighting upgrades at Simmons Field, home of the Lima Locos and other area baseball teams.

For exceeding its goal of 300 participants, the city of Louisville received $30,000 to use towards lighting upgrades at the YMCA, and the Library’s Old Post Office building.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAFor exceeding its goal of 100 participants, the Discovery District received $10,000 to use towards energy efficiency projects at the Thurber Center, Kelton House and Kappa Kappa Gamma. Remaining funds will be used for a celebratory event to further promote sustainability.

In addition, AEP Ohio is awarding each community with a Sustainability Roadmap that will provide a framework for their ongoing sustainability initiatives.

To achieve this goal, community representatives made remarkable efforts promoting AEP Ohio’s energy efficiency programs and educating the community members on the benefits of energy efficiency and sustainability, and how to participate in AEP Ohio’s efficiency programs.

“We honor the leadership of these first three communities — the Discovery District in Columbus, Lima and Louisville — and applaud their successes,” said Jon Williams, Manager of Energy Efficiency and Demand Response for AEP Ohio. “Each community approached the challenge with different strategies and all have won. Plus, more than 1,200 participants benefitted from learning about or participating in energy efficiency programs to save energy and money in the homes and businesses of these three communities.”

If your community is interested in participating in Energy Savers, contact Sherry Hubbard, Energy Efficiency Programs Coordinator, at sjhubbard@aep.com or call 740-349-4004 to discuss the opportunity.

To learn more about the Energy Savers program results and all the participating communities, visit EnergySavers2014.com.

Visit AEPOhio.com/WasteLess for information about AEP Ohio’s energy efficiency programs for residents. For information about energy efficiency programs for businesses, visit AEPOhio.com/Solutions.

What it takes to become part of AEP Ohio’s elite team of line mechanics

brandiMeet one of AEP Ohio’s newer line mechanics: Brandi Persch.

Persch, who is currently enrolled in the company’s line school as an apprentice, is assigned to a Columbus service center that serves the city’s southwest quadrant.
Brandi’s journey to becoming a line mechanic began back in 1998 when she joined the company as a meter reader.

Any time additional training was offered, Persch saw it as an opportunity to expand her technical capabilities.

It wasn’t until the 2012 Derecho, however, when Persch got a chance to help with the company’s massive restoration efforts that the idea of becoming a line mechanic began to take root.

“It was the first time I got to see line work in progress,” Persch said. “I was fascinated by what I saw.”

“It may seem a bit different for a woman to want to be a line mechanic, but I love it!” Persch explained. “I set my goal to train hard and work every day toward the goal of becoming a candidate for line school.”

Steps to becoming a line mechanic
When an employee applies for a line mechanic position, they have to successfully pass the following assessments. The first step in getting qualified is to take the CAST and Strength tests.

The CAST test helps determine whether the candidate has the aptitude for the duties required in the line mechanic position. The Strength test determines whether the candidate can handle the physical aspects – which can be very demanding — of the job.

Following successful passing of the CAST and Strength tests, the candidate can advance to take the Pre-Assessment.

The Pre-Assessment involves a number of challenging tasks including the following:
•Climbing poles at various heights from 4 to 20 feet, with and without fall restraints
•Conducting several tasks such as installing crossarms while on the pole at 4 feet
•Carrying a 25-foot ladder weighing 60 lbs. and materials weighing 20 lbs.
•Ladder climbing and performing a job task safely while on a ladder
•Climbing inside a bucket truck and elevation to a height of 46 – 50 feet

A day in the life
From conversations with her peers, Persch learned the job of a line mechanic is demanding and often times hazardous. Line mechanics can work long hours in extreme conditions and are on call 24 hours a day. They can also be away from home for long periods of time while doing storm restoration work in other states.

Knowing she would need the support of her family if she were to pursue this career, Persch talked to her husband, his parents and her parents, and everyone gave their blessings and support.

Having her family’s encouragement inspired her to continue working toward her goal. Last August, her hard work paid off. Persch passed the Pre-Assessment and accepted her current position. Persch still has a long road ahead of her, but says it’s the journey not the destination.

Apprentices go through 9,000 hours of on-the-job training and classroom instruction over a four-year period. To graduate, students must pass a written exam at 80 percent and demonstrate mastery of the competencies learned by passing seven field events at 100 percent.

When asked what advice she would give to other women and men who might be interested in the line mechanic profession, Persch says, “If you want to be a part of this elite group, you need to make sure it is truly what you want and know why you want it. Then you must work hard, set your goals and go for it.”

Committed to keeping Ohio Shining Brightly

Transmission Projects photo for aepohioanswersFrom 2013 through 2015, AEP Ohio is investing $1 billion to keep Ohio shining brightly.

This investment is being used to improve our electric transmission system by replacing aging infrastructure and bolstering the grid so that we can continue to meet Ohio’s growing electricity demands.

We’re also aware that several power plants are expected to retire soon. This will change the way electricity flows onto the grid, meaning that we need to make some adjustments to our transmission infrastructure to maintain a dependable supply of electricity for our customers.

To keep the lights on across the state, we are constantly looking ahead to plan for what changes in the industry may impact our customers’ electricity supply. We are already planning, engineering and constructing transmission projects in most of our service areas including:

•Northwestern Ohio: receiving a new 138-kilovolt (kV) transmission station, with improvements to several existing stations and upgrades to existing transmission lines

•South central Ohio: receiving a new transmission station and two new 138-kV transmission lines

•Southeastern Ohio: about 50 miles of a 345-kV transmission line is being rewired

We are always happy to hear from property owners, customers and stakeholders with comments or questions about any of our transmission infrastructure projects. Just call our Transmission Project Information Line on 614-883-6929 or toll-free 1-877-215-9261 or email Brett Schmied, project outreach specialist, at beschmied@aep.com.

You can also attend various local project workshops or Ohio Power Siting Board public hearings.

Information about all of our transmission projects, workshops and public hearings is available online at www.aeptransmission.com/ohio/

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