AEP Retail Energy offering gas-supply plans to residential and small business customers

COLUMBUS, Ohio, Oct. 15, 2001 – Central Ohioans can control or reduce their natural gas costs for the next two years through a new program being offered by AEP Retail EnergySM, an affiliate of American Electric Power.

AEP Retail Energy is an approved supplier of natural gas to homes and small businesses through the Columbia Gas of Ohio Customer CHOICESM program. The AEP Retail Energy offer features two plans, each covering a two-year period:

* A variable-price offer with an introductory price of 47.5 cents per hundred cubic feet (ccf) for the first three months. Provisions allow the price to fall as low as 40 cents/ccf and the price will never be over 75 cents/ccf.

* A fixed-price offer of 57.5 cents/ccf.

“The new AEP Retail Energy program offers customers flexibility in determining which plan better serves their needs,” said Andy Patterson, AEP’s senior vice president of retail energy services.

“The program provides families and small businesses with the security of knowing how much they will pay for gas over the next two years, and the opportunity for them to reduce their energy bills,” he said.

Noting that gas prices have varied greatly in recent months, Patterson said, “Our business is to know how to handle the volatility of the energy market, and we’ve used our expertise to secure an excellent rate on natural gas. This will help protect customers from price fluctuations beyond their control.”

Residential customers with average gas usage who choose AEP Retail Energy’s fixed-price plan may be able to reduce their gas bills by nearly 15 percent from last year, he said.

AEP Retail Energy is contacting area residents and businesses by mail and telephone. Details about the new program also are available on the World Wide Web at .

“Columbia Gas of Ohio will continue to manage the delivery of natural gas to customers who enroll in the AEP Retail Energy program, and there will be no disruption in customer service,” Patterson said. “Customer bills will list the gas supply charges from AEP Retail Energy separately from the Columbia Gas transmission and service charges.”

AEP Retail Energy is a retail marketing affiliate of American Electric Power, a multinational energy company based in Columbus, Ohio, and the nation’s largest generator of electricity.

AEP Retail Energy(SM) is not the same company as AEP’s local distribution utility affiliates, Columbus Southern Power and Ohio Power companies, and is not regulated by the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio. Customers do not have to buy AEP Retail Energy products to continue to receive quality, regulated services from AEP’s local distribution utility affiliates.

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