Appalachian Power to implement energy efficiency pilot programs for low-income customers in Virginia

ROANOKE, Va., Sept. 2, 2015 – Beginning this month, Appalachian Power will offer new pilot energy efficiency programs targeting the needs of low-income Virginia customers and a specific energy assistance program to help homeless military veterans.

These projects augment and support the company’s low-income weatherization effort launched earlier this year and will bring Appalachian’s commitment to its low-income customers in Virginia to over $1.8 million in the coming year.

The pilot programs support 2015 legislation by the Virginia General Assembly and Gov. Terry McAuliffe’s initiative to assist low-income customers with home weatherization and help homeless veterans access permanent housing.

“These pilot projects will show more customers how to reduce energy usage and lower their costs,” said Charles Patton, Appalachian’s president and chief operating officer. “We will evaluate these programs as they progress to determine if they should be adopted as energy efficiency offerings from Appalachian Power in the future.”

There will be three pilot programs focusing on veterans, energy efficiency education for customers in assistance programs, and weatherization and efficiency upgrades to a multi-family residential building:

  • Homeless military veterans receiving support from the Virginia Housing Development for Veterans through the Virginia Wounded Warrior Program and Total Action for Progress will be eligible for energy assistance funding from Appalachian. These veterans can receive an “energy voucher” that will be used to establish an account with the company and/or make payments on an electric bill.  The program will be evaluated based on the number of veterans served during the pilot and the effectiveness in helping end homelessness.
  • Energy efficiency education will pinpoint customers who receive assistance paying their electric bill and mail them information regarding measures they can take to save energy and reduce bills.  The mailing will provide information regarding programs offered to assist commonwealth customers with energy conservation including those offered by Appalachian and by agencies in the area.  The educational mailing will include an offer for a free energy conservation kit that includes compact fluorescent light bulbs, high efficiency aerators, and LED night lights.
  • A multi-family residential pilot project will weatherize and improve the energy efficiency of a selected apartment building.  The project will be studied to determine the energy savings achieved and an evaluation of tenant savings and impact on bill payments.  The weatherization may include air sealing of the dwelling and duct work and improvements to the heating and cooling system.  Energy efficiency measures include lighting upgrades, high efficiency faucet aerators, water heater upgrades and auto-off power strips. The evaluation includes a report of the costs of each component of the upgrade and expected savings, the actual energy usage for each unit before and after the upgrade, and the unit’s payment record before and after the upgrade.

In 2014 and 2015, Appalachian received approval from the SCC and planned or initiated a number of new residential energy efficiency programs in Virginia. They include a low-income weatherization program, home performance assessments and rebates, appliance recycling, discounts for energy efficient lighting and appliances, efficiency incentives for manufactured housing, and an air conditioning summer peak demand reduction program.

Appalachian Power has 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, delivering electricity to more than 5 million customers in 11 states. AEP ranks among the nation’s largest generators of electricity, owning nearly 32,000 megawatts of generating capacity in the U.S. AEP also owns the nation’s largest electricity transmission system, a 40,000-mile network that includes more 765-kilovolt extra-high voltage transmission lines than all other U.S. transmission systems combined.







John Shepelwich

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