COLUMBUS, Ohio — AEP Ohio is offering $2.7 million to customers who were impacted by last week's power outages.
Through the power company's Neighbor to Neighbor Program, eligible customers can receive a $350 to $500 credit. Customers can apply through the program until July 29 while funds are available.
The special assistance will provide eligible customers in need with a grant applied directly to their bill, according to AEP.
"Neighbor to Neighbor assistance is usually available once per program year on a first-come, first-served basis; however, due to recent severe weather events, a new application window has been opened to expand assistance available to twice per year," AEP said.
The $2.7 million is separate from the $1 million that the company is distributing to various organizations throughout the Franklin County community.
One organization, IMPACT Community Action, is offering $250 Kroger gift cards to those who are eligible to help replace the food they lost during the outages.
At the peak of the outages, more than 170,000 Franklin County residents were without power while temperatures reached well into the upper 90s.
Meanwhile, central Ohio is bracing for yet another dose of extreme heat over the next few days.
AEP said their transmission grid is designed to handle extreme temperatures, but last week's strong storms caused significant damage to the grid. Due to the extreme heat the following day, AEP then intentionally shut off power to thousands of people to prevent more damage to the grid.
The power company said while they cannot guarantee there will not be any outages, crews will be ready to respond and restore power and quickly as they can.
"We know our customers depend on us and whenever possible, we will do our best to alert customers to any grid conditions that might require them to conserve power or experience service disruptions," AEP said.
To apply to the Neighbor to Neighbor program and to find out if you are eligible, click here.