GAHANNA, Ohio April 7, 2011 — AEP Ohio is celebrating its nearly two-year-old SMART Appliance Recycling Program, which has so far recycled 18,250 old refrigerators and freezers. Removing these older, inefficient appliances from the grid could save customers up to $150 a year in their utility bills. In addition, the customers benefit by receiving a $35 incentive. The $35 check arrives four to six weeks later in the mail.
When it comes to energy consumption, your average older refrigerator or freezer — often kept in garages or basements — use up three times more electricity than newer models manufactured to higher energy efficiency standards.
“At that rate of energy usage, the few beverages and leftovers left chilling in those second fridges and freezers used for storage should be paying rent. If you can find a way to do without an older extra refrigerator or freezer, you’ve found money you can save or spend on something else,” said Karen Sloneker, AEP Ohio director of Customer Service and Marketing.
AEP Ohio customers looking for ways to quickly save money can call 1-877-545-4112 or visit gridSMARTOhio.com to schedule a free pickup. That’s the only work required. Workers and truck show up at the appointed time and provide the labor of moving the old unit from a house into the truck and to a Columbus recycling facility. Refrigerators or freezers must be at least 10 cubic feet in size and currently working.
The SMART Appliance Recycling Program is green in more ways than saving money. In addition to taking energy-guzzling refrigerators and freezers off the power grid, it also prevents them from ending up in landfills, where they leach toxins into the environment.
Units picked up through the program are transported to a recycling plant operated by national appliance recycler JACO Environmental. JACO employs a system that safely removes hazardous materials from the old energy-guzzlers, while reclaiming 95 percent of the appliances for re-use in manufacturing.
Even the foam insulation is safely incinerated to generate electricity and return it to the grid.
“Refrigerator and freezer recycling programs benefit people on multiple levels. They allow people to save money by saving energy, and they give people a way to help preserve the environment by preserving natural resources,” said Michael Dunham, director of Energy and Environmental Programs for JACO Environmental.
The AEP Ohio refrigerator recycling program is one of several energy efficiency programs offered by the utility to help residential and commercial electric customers use less energy, better manage their bills and protect the environment.
JACO Environmental is a leader in the safe de-manufacturing and recycling of materials from refrigerators, freezers and other appliances. It currently contracts with more than 150 utilities in 26 states and operates 21 recycling facilities throughout the United States. For more information, visit JACO at www.jacoinc.net.
AEP Ohio provides electricity to nearly 1.5 million customers of major AEP subsidiaries Columbus Southern Power Company and 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 Texas). AEP’s headquarters are in Columbus, Ohio.