American Electric Power (AEP) serves 5.4 million customers in 11 states across the US. Because rate plans and state programs vary, we’ve split our AEP series into many different articles.
This article was originally written for West Virginia customers but Chloe recently added information for Tennessee and Virginia customers below!
Check out these helpful payment tricks!
Don’t you hate it when you get charged an extra “convenience fee” for making a payment?! I know I do. AEP customers are charged an extra $2.95 by BillMatrix whenever they pay by debit or credit card (or over the phone by any method). You can avoid extra fees by paying in person, by mail or online using a bank account.
Average Monthly Payment Plan averages your total annual usage over 12 averaged monthly payments. You need to have at least 12 months of billing history with the company before you begin this program. Every month, the payments are updated to reflect the new month’s actual usage and the oldest month is no longer considered. This prevents the need for a settlement month (like the one that led to our crazy $3,000 power bill in 2017!) unless you terminate your AMP plan or fail to make two consecutive payments.
Equal Payment Plan is similar to AMP but does not update each month to reflect actual usage. Instead, your estimated usage is averaged and a settlement month will occur at the end of the year.
If you’re a new AEP customer, you may be able to skip the deposit by providing a Letter of Credit from a previous utility company.
Select the right rate plan for your household.
The Standard plan includes an $8 per month basic service charge and a slightly higher charge for the first 500 kWh consumed.
If you can avoid using electricity during certain times of day, you may benefit from enrolling in the Time of Day plan. This plan charges a significantly lower cost per kWh during off-peak hours. However, the on-peak rate is much higher and the basic service charge is $11.80. Since on-peak hours are between 7am and 9pm on weekdays, you will need to consume very little power during those times to save money
Get discounts on your AEP power bill!
West Virginia law could save you 20% in the winter! West Virginia state law requires that gas and electric utility companies charge low income customers at least 20% less during the billing months of December through April. To qualify, you must receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) or AFDC Unemployed (AFDC-U). You may also qualify if you receive food stamps (SNAP) and you’re age 60+.
Enroll in the Residential Peak Reduction Program and get up to $40 in credits per summer! When you enroll in this program, AEP will install a power switch on your central electric cooling units that allows them to switch the equipment on and off at certain times. This allows the company to cycle, the device, or periodically turn it on and off, to reduce the energy demand without significantly altering the temperature of your home. There are many restrictions regarding how the company can do this. For example, they can only do it 15 times per year, no more than 6 hours per day, only during 12pm and 8pm, etc. In exchange, you’ll receive $8 off your monthly bill between May and September (up to $40 annually). You must commit to stay on the program for a whole year when you sign up.
The Load Management Water Heating Provision can give you a discount on the last 250 kWh used each month! If you install a company-approved load management water-heating system that primarily uses power during the off-peak hours, you’ll get a discount on the last 250 kWh used in any month (as long as you use at least 500 kWh per month).
Save money on your AEP bill every month!
Spend 15 minutes with the Online Energy Checkup and you’ll get detailed information about your home energy use and customized energy-saving tips! You’ll also receive a box of FREE products, including energy-efficient lightbulbs, LED nightlights and other energy savers!
Get a FREE in-home energy assessment to better identify ways your home is wasting energy. This free program sends a trained energy specialist to your home for 1-2 hours to install free, low-cost energy efficient improvements and provide a prioritized list of improvements and changes that could help you save money on your AEP bill!
West Virginia offers a Low Income Weatherization Program that can provide thousands of dollars in FREE home improvement upgrades to low income residents. This program can save you some serious money on your monthly power bills! To qualify, your income must be equal or less than 200% of the Federal Poverty Guideline. To apply, contact your local Community Action Agency.
Of course, there are some basic things everyone can do to save money on their bills. Click here to see the ultimate guide to saving electricity!
Get help with your AEP bill!
AEP offers several payment arrangement options, including a one-time payment extension, extended payment agreement and various payment assistance programs. Unfortunately, you must log in to see the details for these arrangements so I wasn’t able to acquire any additional details.
West Virginia’s Low Income Energy Assistance Program (LIEAP) provides additional assistance to low income West Virginia residents. To qualify for these funds, you must have an income that is equal to or less than 135% of the federal poverty guideline.
Don’t forget these other cool programs!
Get cash for recycling old appliances! If you have an old, working refrigerator or freezer, you can get cash back for recycling them! AEP will pay $50 per old appliance picked up. You’ll also save up to $150 per year in energy costs!
Get rebates for purchasing and installing more energy-efficient appliances and lighting!
Virginia customers can save money, too!
The Virginia crisis heating and cooling programs operate as a LIHEAP-style benefit. They are different only in that they are offered during different times of the year. The heating assistance is available to low income families during the cold winter months. Cooling assistance is available during the hot months for those who qualify.
Virginia weatherization assistance program can help you by making your home able to stand up to the highs and lows of Virginia weather. The program helps individuals at or below 150% of the poverty level. It can help you with things like additional insulation and energy-efficient appliances.
The state law in Virginia does not protect you from shut-off if the temperatures are extreme. The law does provide you with protection from shut off if you have a medical condition that relies on electricity. Your termination notice may be delayed for up to 30 days if you have already submitted the medical condition certification form.
Tennessee customers can save money, too!
If you are at or below 150% of the Tennessee poverty level, you could be eligible for LIHEAP. The program can help pay for a portion of your heating expenses during the winter months. In addition, those who are eligible for LIHEAP may be able to receive help to cool their homes during the summer months.
You can get new energy-efficient appliances, upgraded insulation and even a new heating or cooling system with the Tennessee Weatherization Program. You can apply for the program through your local assistance office and you can see if you qualify based on an income chart.
You’re protected in Tennessee! Your utility company is required to offer deferred payments to those who are financially unable to pay their bill. While you won’t get a termination delay based on the weather in the state, there may be another way you can get them. If a medical professional or social service official deems electricity medically necessary for you, you can get a 30 day termination delay on your bill.