AEP Customers Set New Summer Load Peak

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COLUMBUS, Ohio, July 23, 1999 – As temperatures hit the mid-90s Thursday across much of the seven-state area served by American Electric Power (NYSE: AEP), the company's 3 million customers set a new summer load peak, using 19,795,000 kilowatts of electric energy at 5 p.m. EDT. AEP's previous summer record for electric energy demand was 19,516,000 kilowatts at 4 p.m. EDT on Aug. 14, 1995, when temperatures also topped 90 degrees. The all-time load peak of 19,557,000 kilowatts used by the AEP system's customers was set at 8 a.m. EST Feb. 5, 1996. AEP also set an all-time peak in the Indiana and Michigan region. Customers used 4,060,000 kilowatts at 2 p.m. EDT Thursday. The previous peak was 3,951,000 kilowatts, set at 4 p.m. EDT on July 16, 1999. "When we experience extremely hot weather, our customers obviously use more electricity to keep their homes and workplaces comfortable," said Bob Kelley, vice president - system operations. "But there are some steps they can take to reduce their use of electricity and reduce their monthly bills without sacrificing comfort." The hot weather electricity conservation steps include: -- Don't shut registers or close off rooms when the air conditioner or heat pump is cooling. By doing this, more energy may actually be used since you are shutting down the air supply the air conditioner or heat pump needs to operate. Also, choking off air flow to the air conditioner or heat pump may cause damage to the compressor, reducing its life and causing expensive repairs. -- Set the thermostat between 78 and 80 degrees and the thermostat fan control to "on." This will allow the air conditioner or heat pump to dehumidify and cool. Energy will be saved by keeping air moving through the home. -- Turn the cooling off and set the thermostat fan control to "on." This will still circulate the air and not allow hot air to gather in one place. -- Close blinds and curtains in sunny windows during the hottest part of the day. -- Pre-cool your home by running the air conditioner or heat pump with the thermostat set at 65 degrees during the morning hours, then turn it off. The home temperature will then slowly increase, but still remain cool until later in the day. -- Install a programmable thermostat that will automatically adjust the cooling temperature when you are at work and restore it when you get home. -- Tightly close all windows and doors when you are running your air conditioner or heat pump. Open windows and doors let heat and humidity enter the home, which will cause the cooling system to run longer and use more energy. -- Change your heat pump or air conditioner filter every season, especially before summer. A dirty filter chokes off the air from a heat pump or air conditioner, causing it to use more energy and causing harm to the compressor. AEP, a global energy company, is one of the United States' largest investor-owned utilities, providing energy to 3 million customers in Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia. AEP has holdings in the United States, the United Kingdom, China and Australia. Wholly owned subsidiaries provide power engineering, energy consulting and energy management services around the world. The company is based in Columbus, Ohio. On Dec. 22, 1997, AEP announced a definitive merger agreement for a tax-free, stock-for-stock transaction with Central and South West Corp., a public utility holding company based in Dallas.
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For More Information, Contact: Jeri Waters Media Relations American Electric Power 614/223-1917