SHREVEPORT, La., March 31, 2009 – Customers of AEP Southwestern Electric Power Company (SWEPCO), an operating unit of American Electric Power (NYSE: AEP), who enroll in AEP’s paperless billing program over the next two months will save time and money while helping the environment.
AEP and its paperless billing partner, Fiserv, Inc. (NASDAQ: FISV), will contribute $1 to the Arbor Day Foundation for every customer who enrolls during April and May. The funds will be used for reforestation projects in AEP’s service territory.
At the end of 2008, approximately 7 percent of AEP’s residential customers across seven states – 261,350 customers – were enrolled in AEP’s paperless billing program, which allows them to receive and pay their electric service bills online. More than 2.9 million paperless bills were sent to AEP customers during 2008. SWEPCO had 25,724 residential paperless-bill customers at year end 2008, or 6.5 percent of its total residential customers.
Customers may enroll for the program at www.AEPPaperless.com. CheckFree, whose name appears on the site, recently became part of Fiserv.
“Our customers who choose paperless billing find they save time and money, in addition to making a positive environmental contribution,” said Paul Chodak, SWEPCO president and chief operating officer. “Those who enroll in April and May will make an even greater impact with the planting of trees in our service territory.”
“Our total AEP customers’ participation in the program during 2008 saved approximately 89 tons of paper, 2,072 trees, 200,000 pounds of solid waste, 500,000 pounds of greenhouse gases and 1.6 million gallons of wastewater, based on the Environmental Defense Fund Paper Calculator,” Chodak said. “The paperless billing program reflects SWEPCO’s commitment to sustainable business practices and environmental stewardship,” he added.
If all U.S. households paid bills online, 16.5 million trees would be preserved each year, according to a Javelin Strategy & Research study.
“AEP’s focus on paperless billing and their cooperation with the Arbor Day Foundation are evidence of their commitment to their customers and the communities they serve,” said Michelle Flint, vice president and general manager, Biller Solutions, Fiserv. “Electronic bills not only offer the convenience of saving time and reducing clutter, but they are also an easy way for all of us to make a difference with the environment.”
“AEP’s commitment to tree planting will have a lasting impact in our nation’s forests,” said John Rosenow, founder and chief executive of the Arbor Day Foundation. “Trees provide habitat for wildlife, clean the air we breathe and protect our waterways. Because of AEP’s concern for the environment, they are helping to restore our nation’s forests for generations to come.”
The Biller Solutions group at Fiserv offers a comprehensive suite of solutions for billing organizations, leveraging the billing and payment touch points and turning them into positive interactions for the consumer. Fiserv delivers electronic bills (e-bills) for more than 400 companies across 3,000 financial institutions, representing most of the bills common to a U.S. household. For more information, please visit www.fiserv.com/billers.
The Arbor Day Foundation is a nonprofit environmental and education organization of nearly one million members, with a mission to inspire people to plant, nurture and celebrate trees. More information on the Foundation and its programs can be found at www.arborday.org.
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. SWEPCO serves 474,000 customers in three states.