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CEI CO-OP KICKS OFF FIFTH YEAR HELPING CUSTOMERS

 COLUMBUS, Sept. 13 /PRNewswire/ -- Customers of the Cleveland Electric Illuminating Company (CEI) will have the opportunity to help Northeast Ohio's less fortunate thanks to the company's Customer Outreach Opportunity Program (CO-OP).
 Beginning its fifth year, the program runs from September through October when CEI customers receive CO-OP information with their monthly electric bills. Included with each bill will be a Salvation Army return envelope for customers who wish to make contributions.
 Customer contributions to CO-OP last year totaled nearly $90,000, and were used to provide the less fortunate with electric bill payment assistance. CEI matched those contributions dollar for dollar and provided an additional $115,000 to help provide low-income customers with furnace and major electric appliance repairs and home wiring repairs to allow weatherization assistance. CEI matching funds come from share owner earnings, not electric rates.
 "Over the years, customer contributions have done much to help those in need, " said Vivian Chmielewski, CEI's director of consumer support. "A donation to CO-OP, whether large or small, can provide some of the things that many of us take for granted."
 CO-OP has provided $1.5 million in assistance since its establishment in 1989.
 The program is administered in conjunction with several local social service agencies including the Salvation Army, the St. Vincent DePaul Society, the Lutheran Housing Corporation, the Cleveland Housing Network and Ashtabula County Community Action.
 CEI customers in Cuyahoga County can inquire about the CO-OP program by calling the company's CO-OP Information Line at 216-861-9055. Customers in Ashtabula, Geauga and Lake counties can dial 800-589-3101 and ask for CO-OP. In Lorain County, callers can dial 800-589-4666.
 -0- 9/13/93
 /NOTE TO EDITORS: Past CO-OP recipients are available to discuss the benfits of the CO-OP with the media. Call contact to arrange an interview./
 /CONTACT: Irene Prezelj of the Cleveland Electric Illuminating Company, 216-479-4906 or 216-623-1060 after hours/


CO: Cleveland Elecric Illuminating Company ST: Ohio IN: SU:

KL -- CL011 -- 1278 09/13/93 11:57 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Sep 13, 1993
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