Having dodged what could have been a large storm in mid-June and as we enter storm season, AEP Ohio is providing this community update about our efforts to ensure our customers have access to reliable electric service.
Making sure our customers have electricity when they need it is of the utmost importance to us. That is why we continue to work on our infrastructure to reinforce our systems.
Since 2009, we have invested more than $1.1 billion throughout the state to improve reliability for our customers and improve our transmission and distribution systems to ensure an adequate energy supply in Ohio to meet growing demand. We plan to invest $1.2 billion more from 2013 to 2015 on additional system improvements across Ohio. Our work includes building and upgrading substations, building and rebuilding high- and low-voltage transmission lines, distribution system maintenance and improvements, and our vegetation management program.
Our vegetation management program has allowed us to increase our tree trimming efforts and clear lines every four years. Our program of clearing the vegetation area around electrical lines has proven to minimize the impact of tree limbs during storms. It also has had a positive impact in minimizing outages during normal operations.
AEP Ohio wants to work collaboratively with our customers to provide reliable service. We encourage customers to let us know about trees that are touching the electric lines or interfering with the system in any way. Also, let us know about any outages or downed wires as soon as possible - never approach or touch downed wires. With customer assistance, we can work to remove threats to the electrical system as well as to restore power in a timely fashion.
We also are focusing on improving our communication with our customers. AEP Ohio has been utilizing email to keep customers educated in advance of a storm and continues to look for new ways to keep customers informed. If you are interested in receiving updates and information, provide us your email address by contacting our Customer Solution Center at 1-800-672-2231 or by going online through our account management area at www.aepohio.com.
On behalf of the men and women of AEP Ohio, we take our customers' trust and business seriously and will continue our work to improve reliability.
Pablo Vegas, president and COO