Hats Off to AEP’s cost-saving ingenuity

“It’s a mindset -- work more efficiently,” Appalachian Power Co. spokesman Phil Moye said of the employees at the John Amos Power Plant who came up with a system to save the plant about $10 million per year.

Saving Appalachian Power money ultimately saves its customers money, since electricty rates are based on the company’s costs.

The crew came up with the idea to change the way coal is offloaded from barges on the Kanawha River, as detailed Thursday by Daily Mail Business Editor Jared Hunt.

It’s cheaper to get coal to the plant by barge than rail, but the existing process of offloading the coal caused a lot of downtime as workers changed empty barges out.

But a little creative thinking by the team and willingness by the company to make an initial $6 million investment cuts the downtime between loads from 45 minutes to five, allowing the plant to nearly double the amount of coal it gets via barge, saving $10 million to $12 million per year, and recouping the initial investment in just six months.

Hats off to creative employees who collaborate on saving the rest of us money.

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