AEP keeps reward for old fridge a cool $50
The nice thing about this article is that the refrigerator program is alive and well over the country – not just Ohio. Contact your power company to see if there is a program cooling off in your neck-of-the -woods. comment by Don Ames
In the past two years, more than 24,000 refrigerators or freezers have been recycled — and their owners rewarded — through an American Electric Power rebate program.
Yesterday, AEP said it is going to continue the program and keep the rebate given to participants at $50. The rebate was raised from $35 as part of a summer promotion but was scheduled to drop back to that amount on Aug. 1.
This is part of an energy-efficiency initiative that a leading environmental group says has been a clear success.
“AEP gets a big gold star for this,” said Nolan Moser, director of energy and clean-air programs for the Ohio Environmental Council, and a frequent critic of AEP on other issues. “They’ve done really exceptional work.”
The rebate isn’t the only financial benefit to participants. AEP estimates the energy savings from taking an inefficient refrigerator out of service can be up to $150 per year.
“This program pays people to save money on their electric bills, and that’s really important as high summer temperatures place heavy demand on home cooling systems,” Jon Williams, AEP Ohio’s manager of energy efficiency, said in a statement.
To be eligible, a household must be in AEP territory and the refrigerator must be between 10 and 30 cubic feet. It also must be clean and in working order, and it must be the household’s secondary refrigerator. Typically, customers will ask the company to take refrigerators out of the basement or the garage.
The program is part of a larger slate of energy-efficiency efforts by AEP. A 2008 state law requires all investor-owned power companies to take steps to reduce wasteful electricity usage. The funding for the program comes from a fee in AEP customers’ bills that adds up to about $3 per month.
Moser said AEP has embraced the energy-efficiency goals much more than the state’s other major utilities have. The companies’ various programs are projected to save customers up to $400 million by 2016, he said. The programs started in June 2009.
Electric companies are often reluctant to encourage efficiency because their financial success is tied to increasing power use, not decreasing it. Largely because of this, other utilities in Ohio saw energy-efficiency rules “as a threat to their bottom line,” Moser said.
AEP, however, has set up its energy-efficiency programs in a way that allows it to make a profit that counteracts the loss in electricity sales, he said. He sees that as a good thing because an increase in efficiency reduces the need for new power plants, which can lead to a long-term decrease in air pollution.
For more information about the refrigerator rebate and other energy-efficiency programs, visit AEP Ohio’s website, www.aepohio.com, or call 1-877-545-4112.
For the refrigerator program where you live, contact your power company. comment by Don Ames