AEP Offers Tips For Staying Warm And Keeping Bills Down During Latest Cold Snap

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The following email was sent to AEP Ohio customers Saturday morning:

With more frigid temperatures anticipated early next week, we'd like to share a few tips to help you stay safe, warm and minimize extra heating costs.

While we fully expect our electric service to operate as normal throughout this cold spell, our linemen are ready to respond should your service be impacted.

If an outage occurs, please call 1-800-672-2231 to report the outage or click the "Report an Outage" link at

Remember that you can check an outage status by clicking the "Check Outage Status" link on our website.

Keep safety in mind when heating your home:

• If using a space heater, keep it stable and at least three feet away from anything that can burn, including walls. Remember to unplug it before leaving the room and when going to bed. Plug it into an outlet with sufficient capacity and never into an extension cord. Don't hide the cord under a rug or carpet, this can cause it to overheat and create a fire hazard.

• Never use a stove or oven to heat your home if your electricity goes out.

• If using a fireplace, use a glass or metal fire screen 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 working smoke and carbon monoxide detectors and that their batteries are fresh.

• 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. Keep garage doors closed if there are waterlines in the garage.

Simple ways to conserve electricity and stay warm include:

• For economy, set your thermostat for 68 degrees and leave it alone. Setting it higher won't heat your home any faster. If you're planning to be away for the day, lower it by five degrees to conserve energy.

• Turn off electric lights and appliances when not in use.

• Unless it is equipped specifically for home heating, use your fireplace sparingly. Warm air escapes through the chimney so close the damper when you're not using the fireplace.

• Check furnace filters monthly and replace as needed.

• Open curtains on the sunny side of the house to warm up your home. No sun? Close the shades to keep warm air in.

• Covering hot water pipes with an insulating jacket and setting the water heater between 120 and 130 degrees can cut water-heating costs by as much as nine percent.

Additionally, out of concern for the safety of our meter readers, we may keep them out of the extreme cold this week.

This means that your electricity use this billing period may be estimated and that any differences with your actual usage will be balanced out in the following period.