American Electric Power Foundation, NEED Project partner to deliver energy efficient light bulbs, energy education to TEXAS fourth-grade students

SHREVEPORT, La., October 22, 2008 - More than 35,000 fourth-grade students in Texas will receive compact fluorescent bulbs (CFLs) the week of October 20 and learn about energy efficiency through a bulb giveaway and energy education program provided by the Virginia-based National Energy Education Development (NEED) Project with funding from the American Electric Power Foundation.

The local distribution is part of NEED’s Change-a-Light programming supported by a $355,000 grant from the Foundation, which is funded by American Electric Power (NYSE: AEP) and its utility operating units, including AEP Southwestern Electric Power Company (SWEPCO), which serves approximately 180,000 customers in East and North Texas.

The program is expected to distribute more than 150,000 bulbs to students and provide high quality energy education resources to teachers across AEP’s 11-state service territory. Included in the resources is a curriculum guide for teachers providing lessons and background information needed to discuss energy efficiency in the classroom and explain the safe use and disposal of compact fluorescent bulbs.

CFLs deliver an equivalent amount of light as incandescent bulbs while using approximately one-fourth as much energy and lasting up to 10 times as long as traditional bulbs. Bulbs for students are packaged individually in sealed plastic.

“We are pleased that NEED is bringing energy-saving bulbs and energy efficiency tips to local students and their parents on behalf of the American Electric Power Foundation,” said Paul Chodak, SWEPCO president and chief operating officer.  “Through this grant thousands of school children and their families will learn how electricity is produced and distributed, and how to use energy wisely and efficiently.”
The curriculum also includes a note to the student’s family highlighting the project and directing family members to the Change-a-Light pledge on the American Electric Power Foundation section of NEED’s website at www.need.org.  Individuals can make a pledge to switch to an ENERGY STAR® qualified CFL bulb the next time they change a bulb, saving energy resources one bulb at a time.

NEED estimates that if every student replaces one incandescent bulb at home with a CFL bulb, some 33.8 million kilowatt hours of electricity will be saved and 49 million pounds of carbon dioxide emissions will be avoided.

The American Electric Power Foundation is funded by American Electric Power (NYSE: AEP) and its utility operating units. The Foundation provides a permanent, ongoing resource for charitable initiatives involving higher dollar values and multi-year commitments in the communities served by AEP and initiatives outside of AEP’s 11-state service area.

The Foundation’s areas of focus include special emphasis on improving lives through education from early childhood through higher education, protecting the environment, providing basic human services in the areas of hunger, housing, health and safety, and enriching life through art, music and cultural heritage. 

The Foundation is based in Columbus, Ohio. 

SWEPCO Corporate Communications
Scott McCloud, 318-673-3532
Kacee Kirschvink, 318-673-3394