The Columbus Clippers have a new heavy hitter wowing fans at Huntington Park this season: Louie the Lightning Bug.

Louie is making occasional appearances at Huntington Park this season as part of AEP Ohio’s new partnership with the Clippers. Fans are seeing a number of promotional events at the ballpark, including marketing materials, public address announcements, product giveaways and between-inning contests.

Promoting energy efficiency at the stadium is the first step in a bigger plan for AEP Ohio and the Clippers: replacing the stadium’s aging lighting. The old High Intensity Discharge lights are energy-suckers that take almost 20 minutes to power on; swapping them out with new LEDs is more environmentally friendly, cost-effective and will even improve the lighting quality on the field.

The partnership is a high-profile example of the Community Energy Savers program in which AEP Ohio works with local businesses to reduce their environmental footprint. Companies see a long-term reduction in their energy usage and receive incentives for encouraging their employees and surrounding communities; AEP Ohio wins a boost in consumer awareness about energy efficiency and helping its customers better manage their energy consumption.

At Huntington Park, the focus is primarily on lights – not just those on the field but in outdoor signage and on the stadium concourse, too. But for residences and businesses who work with AEP Ohio to become more energy efficient, the examination often extends beyond this area. Older appliances, heating and cooling systems and other building equipment can also be targeted for replacement. (AEP Ohio offers incentives to upgrade, when applicable.)

“Almost all businesses can benefit from these programs. The only reason the Clippers didn’t come to us earlier is because the stadium sits dark for so many months a year,” says Andy McCabe, and energy efficiency and consumer programs manager for AEP Ohio. “But the time was right and it makes sense. This is great for the Clippers, it’s great for AEP Ohio, and it’s great for the city of Columbus and all the fans who come to the games. It’s a win all around.”

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