EfficiencyCraftedsm new homes program earns awards for greater protection of the environment through energy efficiency

GAHANNA, Ohio – April 23, 2015 – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has recognized AEP Ohio, a unit of American Electric Power (NYSE: AEP), and Columbia Gas of Ohio, a unit of NiSource Inc (NYSE: NI), with a prestigious 2015 ENERGY STAR® Partner of the Year - Sustained Excellence Award and a Market Leader Award for their continued leadership in protecting the environment through superior energy efficiency.

Through their cobranded program EfficiencyCraftedSM, AEP Ohio and Columbia Gas of Ohio collaborate in their territories to assist homebuilders in incorporating energy upgrades that exceed current code and provide greater energy savings and built-in value. The program also recognizes builders who attain the highest level of the program — EfficiencyCrafted and ENERGY STAR Certified.

“Through their sustained participation with ENERGY STAR, AEP Ohio and Columbia Gas of Ohio are helping Americans save money, save energy, and do their part to reduce our nation’s greenhouse gas emissions that fuel climate change,” said EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy. “I applaud these two utilities for earning EPA’s highest ENERGY STAR award, the 2015 Partner of the Year - Sustained Excellence Award, demonstrating a strong commitment to energy efficiency and to preserving a healthy planet for future generations.”

The two utilities’ accomplishments were recognized in Washington, D.C. on April 20, 2015. This is the fourth consecutive year that AEP Ohio and Columbia Gas of Ohio have received ENERGY STAR’s Partner of the Year Award, which also earns them the distinction of Sustained Excellence.

Since the EfficiencyCrafted new homes program was introduced in 2010, over 110 builders have been enrolled in the program and more than 7,500 homes have been built. Over half of these have also earned the ENERGY STAR Certified Homes label, which requires builders to incorporate a number of additional building and energy performance features.

“We are honored to receive this award from the EPA for EfficiencyCrafted homes that collectively have saved nearly 2.3 million CCF of natural gas and over 19.9 million kilowatt hours of electricity,” said Dan Creekmur, president of Columbia Gas of Ohio.

AEP Ohio President and Chief Operating Officer Pablo Vegas further explained, “The environmental impact is significant as each year these savings reduce energy costs for homeowners and are equivalent to the carbon sequestered by more than 21,000 acres of U.S. forests.”

The EPA gives the 2015 Partner of the Year - Sustained Excellence Awards to recognize organizations’ contributions in reducing greenhouse gas emissions through superior energy efficiency. These winners have reduced greenhouse gas emissions by setting and achieving aggressive goals and employing innovative energy efficiency approaches. These awards recognize ongoing leadership across the ENERGY STAR program, including energy-efficient products, services, new homes, and buildings in the commercial, industrial, and public sectors. The EPA selects award winners from the 16,000 organizations that participate in the ENERGY STAR program.

The EPA also recognized AEP Ohio and Columbia Gas of Ohio with the 2015 ENERGY STAR Certified Market Leader Award. Each year, ENERGY STAR New Homes presents Market Leader Awards to outstanding partners who have made important contributions to energy–efficient construction and environmental protection by building or verifying an outstanding number of ENERGY STAR certified homes, or by sponsoring a local program that supports these activities during the previous year. In 2014, participating homebuilders completed 2,487 EfficiencyCrafted homes. While all of the homes were built to perform 15 percent to 30 percent better than Ohio’s energy code, 1,056 of the 2,487 homes were also certified as ENERGY STAR, which means they meet even more stringent requirements.

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About AEP Ohio / Columbia Gas of Ohio EfficiencyCrafted New Homes Program

Through their cobranded EfficiencyCrafted new homes program, AEP Ohio and Columbia Gas of Ohio are working together to promote energy performance that exceeds code-built homes.  EfficiencyCrafted ENERGY STAR Certified homes employ proven technologies and advanced building practices to use approximately 20-50 percent less energy than conventionally built homes.

The comfort and efficiency of a home in any price range or style can be improved through advanced building practices, enhanced insulation, performance tested ducts, building envelope air sealing, mechanical ventilation, and higher efficiency and properly sized heating and cooling systems.  ENERGY STAR lighting, appliances and windows help to increase energy efficiency of the home.

Homeowners experience:

  • Lower energy bills
  • Improved comfort – homes will be warmer in the winter, cooler in the summer, free from drafts, quieter and more durable.
  • Peace of mind – homes must pass third party inspection, testing and energy modeling by an energy Rater certified under HERS®.
  • A healthier living environment – mechanical ventilation systems promote better indoor air quality.
  • Environmental benefits – more efficient homes help mitigate global climate change by producing fewer harmful emissions and reduce associated health costs due to chronic respiratory ailments.

For more information, visit: EfficiencyCraftedhomes.com.

AEP Ohio provides electricity to nearly 1.5 million customers of major AEP subsidiaries Ohio Power Company in Ohio.  AEP Ohio is based in Gahanna, Ohio, and is a unit of American Electric Power.  For more information about AEP Ohio’s energy efficiency consumer programs, events and tips, visit 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 40,000-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.

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. Columbia Gas of Ohio offers a variety of programs designed to help its residential and business customers save energy and money on their energy bills, while maintaining the comfort of their homes and businesses and doing something positive for the environment at the same time. For more information about Columbia’s energy-efficiency programs, visit ColumbiaGasOhio.com.


AEP Ohio
1-866-641-1151 or 614-883-7999


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