Our clean energy strategy gives customers the tools and the knowledge to optimize their energy experience. We view energy efficiency as a readily deployable, competitively priced and clean resource that benefits our customers and our environment.
Today, we offer customers more than 150 programs across nearly all of our 11-state service territory. In 2020 alone, our energy efficiency programs reduced energy usage by more than 1.1 million MWh and reduced demand by approximately 320 MW. From 2008 through 2020, these programs combined reduced annual consumption by over 9 million MWh and peak demand by approximately 2,900 MW. To achieve these savings, we invested $1.5 billion during that same period.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced its 2021 ENERGY STAR® awards for businesses and organizations that have made outstanding contributions to protecting the environment through superior energy efficiency achievements. AEP Texas, Appalachian Power and Southwestern Electric Power Company (SWEPCO – Arkansas) were named ENERGY STAR Partner of the Year – Sustained Excellence winners. SWEPCO (Louisiana and Texas) and Public Service Company of Oklahoma (PSO) were recognized for an ENERGY STAR Partner of the Year – Energy Efficiency Program Delivery award as well.
Meanwhile, reducing energy consumption within our own operations continues. We reduced our kilowatt-hour (kWh) usage, normalized for weather, by approximately 35% in 2020, compared with the 2007 baseline, in nearly 280 buildings. This resulted in approximately $7.1 million in cost savings. Today, we have nine LEED-certified company facilities across our service territory.
Energy Efficiency/Demand Response
AEP’s demand response programs lower costs, reduce emissions, and support the grid by reducing load in periods of peak demand, such as during extreme hot and cold weather. They often include incentive rates to encourage our customers to reduce their energy consumption during these peak demand periods. For some customers, contract terms allow us to “interrupt” their power consumption during peak times in exchange for reduced rates.
As manufacturers create more advanced technology appliances and lighting, we continue to explore ways to provide solutions for customers to manage their energy bill and environmental footprint.
Home Energy Management
Customers want a more personalized energy experience, and we are delivering custom, high-tech solutions that empower them to make a difference. Through Home Energy Management (HEM) tools made available on our websites, we give customers greater control of their energy use and bills.
HEM provides tools such as proactive alerts, and personalized energy efficiency tips and programs – improving the customer experience and increasing satisfaction. Our deployment of Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI), or smart meters, enhances HEM benefits by providing access to more data to facilitate high-impact, highly personalized solutions.
In 2020, Southwestern Electric Power Company and Appalachian Power introduced the new HEM tool for its residential customers, giving them a hands-on experience with their energy usage and money-saving tools, such as energy efficiency programs. The tool offers bill comparisons, home energy analysis, a data browser, energy-saving tips, and account information and preferences. The tool also provides high-bill alerts, empowering customers to make changes in their energy use during the current billing period to keep their monthly electric bill affordable. AEP Ohio and Indiana Michigan customers are also benefiting from the tool.
For customers with AMI and HEM, the two work together to improve the integration of electric vehicles (EV) across our system. AMI and HEM help us identify customers with at-home EV chargers so we can offer programs that avoid charging during peak demand periods and can save customers money. We continue to explore cost effective and unobtrusive ways to provide this functionality.