COLUMBUS, Ohio, Jan. 27, 2011 – Today, members of American Electric Power’s (NYSE: AEP) external Energy Efficiency Advisory Council sent a letter to the U.S. Department of Energy (USDOE) urging adoption of the proposed Energy Efficient and Smart Appliance Agreement of 2010, which would set new minimum energy efficiency standards for home appliances, extend and update tax credits for the development and manufacturing of smart appliances, and include smart grid readiness as a feature of future ENERGY STAR qualified appliances.
The Energy Efficiency Advisory Council, made up of 13 manufacturing, trade, technology, environmental and policy experts, was created in June 2010 to help AEP achieve its energy efficiency and conservation goals and to drive national awareness to change behaviors, support new technologies and standards, and influence public policy.
“Focusing on energy efficiency is good for our customers and our company, which is why AEP increased its investment in energy efficiency programs from $13 million in 2008 to approximately $70 million in 2010,” said Robert P. Powers, president – AEPutilities. “By supporting these proposed standards for home appliances and continuing to engage and collaborate with the experts on the Energy Efficiency Advisory Council, we can help move energy efficiency efforts forward, save customers money and improve the environment.”
The Energy Efficient and Smart Appliance Agreement of 2010 would increase the energy and water efficiency of most major home appliances and provide a three-year extension and update of a manufacturers’ tax credit for the production of smart appliances. The agreement, which covers refrigerators, freezers, clothes washers, clothes dryers, dishwashers and room air conditioners, also calls for the USDOE and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to revise the ENERGY STAR program to provide a 5 percent credit on energy use for smart appliances.
"Appliance standards, ENERGY STAR and tax credits have a long-history of working in tandem to transform markets so that higher-efficiency products are the norm,” said Steve Nadel, executive director of the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy. “Many of the new standards in this agreement are based on earlier tax credit and ENERGY STAR levels. The new tax credit levels and ENERGY STAR recommendations will lay the groundwork for future market transformations.”
Kevin Messner, vice president of government relations for the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers, said, “We are pleased that AEP's advisory council has agreed to support this historic agreement by industry, efficiency advocates and consumer advocates that will save energy, jump start the smart grid, and provide incentives for manufacturers to produce super efficient appliances.”
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. AEPranks among the nation’s largest generators of electricity, owning nearly 38,000 megawatts of generating capacity in the U.S. AEPalso 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 AEPOhio, AEPTexas, Appalachian Power (in Virginiaand West Virginia), AEPAppalachian Power (in Tennessee), Indiana Michigan Power, Kentucky Power, Public Service Company of Oklahoma, and Southwestern Electric Power Company (in Arkansas, Louisianaand east Texas). AEP’s headquarters are in Columbus, Ohio.