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ENERGY STAR® EPA Recognizes AEP Ohio/Columbia Gas of Ohio New Homes as 2012 ENERGY STAR® Partner of the Year

Thursday, March 15, 2012
COLUMBUS, Ohio –  The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today presented the AEP Ohio/Columbia Gas of Ohio ENERGY STAR® New Homes program with its 2012 ENERGY STAR Partner of the Year Award.

The program, which is an unprecedented partnership between two separate gas and electric utilities, was selected for its commitment to energy efficiency and building homes that meet or exceed the national ENERGY STAR New Homes requirements while being up to 35 percent or more energy efficient than traditionally built new homes.

The partnership to jointly deliver their ENERGY STAR New Homes program offers homebuyers in AEP Ohio and Columbia Gas of Ohio service territories a selection of new homes with greater energy savings and value built right in. The program also assists home builders in meeting or exceeding stricter energy codes.

Over the past 20 years, American families and businesses have saved nearly $230 billion on utility bills and prevented greenhouse gas emissions equal to those from more than 350 million vehicles with help from ENERGY STAR.

“AEP Ohio and Columbia Gas of Ohio are committed to working in partnership with ENERGY STAR to help our customers save more through energy efficiency,” said Joe Hamrock, AEP Ohio President and Chief Operating Officer. “Through a combination of advanced building practices, AEP Ohio and Columbia Gas of Ohio are working with participating builders and home energy rating companies to promote a higher standard in the construction of energy-efficient new homes.”

"The ENERGY STAR New Homes program has enabled us to offer our customers the opportunity to save money and reduce energy use statewide," said Columbia Gas of Ohio President Jack Partridge. “We have joined with AEP Ohio to create a program that delivers energy savings and value beyond the typical ENERGY STAR qualified home, resulting in greater comfort, lower energy bills and a healthier living environment for customers.”

The ENERGY STAR Partner of the Year Awards for Energy Efficiency Program Delivery are given to a variety of organizations in recognition of their efforts to improve energy efficiency and reduce pollution, resulting in significant cost savings. Award winners are selected from about 20,000 organizations that participate in the ENERGY STAR program.

“As we celebrate the 20th anniversary of the ENERGY STAR program, EPA is proud to recognize AEP Ohio and Columbia Gas of Ohio with the 2012 ENERGY STAR Partner of the Year Award for Energy Efficiency Program Delivery,” said EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson. “AEP Ohio/Columbia Gas of Ohio and all our ENERGY STAR award winners are helping Americans find cost-effective ways to save energy in everything we do, which is good for our climate, our health, and our future.”

AEP Ohio and Columbia Gas of Ohio’s accomplishments are being recognized today at an awards ceremony in Washington, D.C. marking the 20th anniversary of ENERGY STAR. For more information about the AEP Ohio/Columbia Gas of Ohio ENERGY STAR New Homes Program, visit AEPOhio.com or ColumbiaGasOhio.com/ESNH.

About AEP Ohio

AEP Ohio provides electricity to nearly 1.5 million customers of major American Electric Power subsidiaries 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 and north Texas). AEP’s headquarters are in Columbus, Ohio. News releases and other information about AEP can be found at AEP.com.

About Columbia Gas of Ohio

Columbia Gas of Ohio safely delivers clean and efficient natural gas to approximately 1.4 million customers in 61 of Ohio’s 88 counties. With headquarters in Columbus, it is one of the seven energy distribution companies of NiSource Inc. (NYSE: NI) and is the largest natural gas utility in the state. NiSource companies deliver energy to approximately 3.8 million customers located within the high-demand energy corridor stretching from the Gulf Coast through the Midwest to New England. More information about Columbia Gas of Ohio is available at: ColumbiaGasOhio.com. Be sure to call 811 at least two business days before you dig. For information about natural gas safety and what to do if you suspect a gas leak, go to SafeGasOhio.org.

About ENERGY STAR

ENERGY STAR was introduced by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in 1992 as a voluntary market-based partnership to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through increased energy efficiency. Now celebrating its 20th anniversary, ENERGY STAR offers businesses and consumers energy-efficient solutions to save energy, money and help protect the environment for future generations. About 20,000 organizations are ENERGY STAR partners committed to improving the energy efficiency of products, homes, buildings and businesses. For more information about ENERGY STAR, visit EnergyStar.gov or call toll-free 1-888-STAR-YES (1-888-782-7937).