Charleston, W.Va., October 6, 2010 – Appalachian Power officials today announced that the company is contributing more than $1 million to help low-income customers pay their utility bills.

To help customers in need in the company’s three-state service area, Appalachian Power partners with Dollar Energy Fund, a non-profit hardship fund. In West Virginia the funds are distributed through the West Virginia Utility Assistance Program and in Virginia and Tennessee the funds are distributed through the Neighbor-to-Neighbor program.

“We recognize that the electric heating costs can be difficult for many customers to pay,” said Charles Patton, Appalachian Power president and COO. “For those who need a hand help is available. We’re proud to support Dollar Energy and the programs it administers.”

“Many customers see their highest energy consumption in the winter,” said Danielle Snidow, Director of Programs for Dollar Energy Fund. “Appalachian Power’s generous donation to the Dollar Energy Fund will help thousands of low-income families keep safe and warm this season. "Since Appalachian Power began partnering with Dollar Energy Fund in 2008 the fund has distributed more than $1.65 million in utility assistance grants to help more than 5,900 Appalachian Power customers."

Appalachian will contribute $500,000 to assistance in West Virginia, $500,000 to customers in Virginia, and $25,000 to customers in Tennessee.

While Dollar Energy Fund distributes funds year round, the majority of assistance requests come in the winter. Dollar Energy Fund relies on contributions from corporations, foundations and individuals. To help make it easier for individuals to contribute to the program, Appalachian Power customers can make tax deductible donations to the program in many ways. They can contribute at the same time that they pay their monthly bills by pledging a dollar or more, or even rounding up their bill each month. Electronic contributions are also accepted on both Appalachian Power’s and Dollar Energy Fund’s websites.

A family of four earning a gross income up to $33,075 per year is income eligible for assistance under 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. A network of 120 community based organizations such as The Salvation Army and Community Action provide application intake services. Full eligibility guidelines and application instructions are available at www.dollarenergyfund.org.

Since Appalachian Power began its utility assistance program in 1983, customers and stockholders have contributed approximately $6.6 million to help pay the energy bills of nearly 82,000 needy customers in West Virginia and Virginia. In Tennessee the program started in 1986 and since then customers and stockholders have contributed approximately $345,000 to help pay bills for more than 3,800 customers.

Appalachian Power provides electricity to 1 million customers in Virginia, West Virginia and Tennessee (as AEP Appalachian Power). It is a unit of American Electric Power (NYSE: AEP), one of the largest electric utilities in the United States, with 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.
About Dollar Energy Fund, Inc:  Dollar Energy Fund was founded in 1983 and has grown to become one of the largest hardship funds in the United States. Dollar Energy Fund is a 501 (c) 3 organization operating in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia. Throughout its history, the organization has provided over $75 million in utility assistance grants to over 275,000 low-income families and individuals. Additional information can be found on Dollar Energy Fund’s website, www.dollarenergyfund.org.

Phil Moye
Corporate Communications – WV
(304) 348-4188

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