2012 MEEA Award for Energy Efficiency Campaign

GAHANNA, Ohio Jan. 23, 2012— AEP Ohio, a unit of American Electric Power (NYSE: AEP), received the 2012 Inspiring Efficiency Marketing Award from the Midwest Energy Efficiency Alliance (MEEA) for its educational campaign urging commercial customers to replace inefficient T12 fluorescent lights.


Bestowed annually at the Midwest Energy Solutions Conference, the award honors marketing campaigns, programs, strategies or ideas that increase the adoption of energy-efficient products and/or best practices in the Midwest.


The campaign successfully reached more than 100,000 commercial customers within the small-retail, small-office, restaurant, medical, government and education industries. In addition to personal correspondence with customer service representatives, AEP Ohio implemented fact sheets, direct mail and targeted advertising.  


During a time span of only three months, 30 schools/school districts saved more than 2.4 gigawatt hours of electricity while receiving almost $290,000 for upgrade incentives, while simultaneously saving 30 to 40 percent on their electric bills each month for additional financial benefit.


Another example of the campaign’s success is witnessed in Ohio Hospitals. The Ohio Hospital Association, which represents 165 hospitals and 16 health systems throughout the state, educates hospitals about electricity upgrades and resources from public and private sources to assist administrators with  implementing savings opportunities. Twenty-five AEP Ohio-supplied hospitals have submitted approved energy efficiency applications representing 11 megawatts of energy savings to earn them rebates totaling $828,000.


“We were challenged to help customers overcome fear of the unknown and to embrace change,” said Andrew McCabe, manager of commercial and industrial programs, AEP Ohio. “Businesses and organizations are learning how the phase out impacts their operations and now have the means necessary to make a change that saves both energy and money at a time when cost savings is critical for success."


            T12 lights — previously the standard fluorescent bulbs used in commercial industry settings — were federally phased out of the market by the U.S. Department of Energy by July 2012. Their recommended replacement bulbs utilize electronic ballasts — the parts of a light fixture that hold and power the bulbs — rather than magnetic ballasts, which allow for more bulbs to be powered using less energy.  


“The campaign addressed the impact of the bulb phase out on businesses related to costs, the availability of bulbs and equipment and efficiency gained by retrofitting to T8 or T5 lamps,” said MEEA Executive Director Jay Wrobel. “The campaign’s holistic approach is equal parts education and action, and both have lasting benefits to commercial customers in terms of energy costs and corresponding energy savings.”


AEP Ohio offers energy efficiency programs for businesses as part of the grid SMART ® initiative to help residential and commercial customers use less energy manage their bills and protect the environment. These programs provide incentives to help business customers purchase and install energy efficiency equipment. Prescriptive incentives are available for common commercial and industrial measures including lighting, HVAC, motors and drives, refrigeration, and food preparation and storage equipment. Custom incentives are available for process improvements and other measures not covered through prescriptive incentives. For more information about all of AEP Ohio’s energy efficiency programs, visit gridSMARTOhio.com.


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, and is a unit of American Electric Power. News and information about AEP Ohio can be found at aepohio.com.


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 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. 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.


The Midwest Energy Solutions Conference is the largest event of its kind in the region. Each year it brings together a broad range of private- and public-sector thought leaders from around the nation who share a vested interest in energy efficiency.


The conference is presented by the Midwest Energy Efficiency Alliance (MEEA), the region’s source on energy efficiency. Formed in 2000, MEEA is committed to advancing sound energy efficiency programs, policies and priorities in the Midwest. MEEA’s membership represents a broad consortium of energy stakeholders from across a 13-state area.


Now in its 10th year, the conference continues to grow as energy efficiency investment increases in states across the Midwest. Responding to attendees, the conference has expanded to include a formal expo to provide more opportunities to highlight and promote energy efficiency programs, products and companies.








AEP Ohio
Shelly Haugh