|GAHANNA, Ohio, Jan. 29, 2019 – The polar vortex is bearing down on a large swath of the United States and bringing extreme cold weather to Ohio. When the temperature drops, your home appliances may kick into overdrive, including heat pumps, gas furnace blowers and portable space heaters. These conditions can not only drive up your electric bill but they can be unsafe, too. Here are some key things to remember during the extreme cold.|
Being Efficient and Staying Warm
Set thermostats as low as appropriate for staying healthy and comfortable.Turn off lights and electric appliances that you don’t need or aren’t using.Keep doors and windows closed as much as possible, including overhead doors on attached garages.Open curtains on the sunny side of the house to warm up your home. If there’s no sun, close the shades to keep warm air in.Add door sweeps and weatherization strips to reduce outside air coming in.
Cold Weather Safety
Take extreme care when using a space heater. Place it at least three feet away from anything that can burn, including walls, and unplug it before you leave the room.Never use a stove or oven to heat your home.If you’re using a fireplace, use a glass or metal fire screen. Be sure it’s large enough to catch sparks or rolling logs.Use generators correctly – never operate one inside your home, including the basement or garage. Guard against carbon monoxide poisoning. Make sure you have smoke and carbon monoxide detectors and that they are working properly and have fresh batteries.Prevent your pipes from freezing by running a constant trickle of water. Open the kitchen and bathroom cabinets to allow warmer air to circulate around the plumbing.
AEP Ohio will have crews ready to respond should electric service be impacted throughout its service territory. In the event you have an outage, switch off all your appliances to allow your service to be restored more efficiently.
You can report outages and get the latest restoration times by downloading the AEP Ohio app at AEPOhio.com/app or going to AEPOhio.com/outagemap. You can also call us at (800) 672-2231.
Avoiding Payment Spikes
AEP Ohio’s Average Monthly Payment (AMP) Plan evens out payments throughout the year to account for seasonal spikes in usage. Bills adjust on a 12-month rolling average and change only slightly each month, making bills more predictable. More information is available here.
We know it’s difficult when your amount due is more than expected. We have ways to help. Customers can call us at (800) 672-2231 for more information.