SWEPCO: Settlement agreement filed in Arkansas rate case

KNWA

SWEPCO customers could see a rate increase beginning in 2020

SHREVEPORT, La. (KNWA) — A request for new rates has been filed by Southwestern Electric Power Company (SWEPCO) on Tuesday, October 15. The settlement agreement was filed at the Arkansas Public Service Commission (APSC), according to a SWEPCO statement.

The agreement would mean a more than $24 million yearly increase in non-fuel base rates. If approved, the new rates would happen in January 2020’s first billing cycle.

Residential customers would see a bill increase of about $8.54 a month for every 1,000 kilowatt-hours used — an 8.8% increase.

Originally, SWEPCO requested a yearly increase of $45.6 million, plus $12 million for “additional vegetation management,” according to the statement.

The company’s definition of “base rates:” costs of building, maintaining and operating SWEPCO’s electric system, including power plants, transmission and distribution lines, and facilities to serve customers. 

What “base rates” do not include: fuel portion of the customer’s bill, which pays for fuel and purchased power and is a pass-through to customers with no profit to the company.

The five-year settlement agreement includes a “formula rate plan,” which the company said, “aligns the company’s rates with its costs on an annual basis, which promotes greater rate stability and reduces the potential for large rate swings associated with general rate cases.”

“We appreciate the careful consideration of our rate request, and we believe that all parties have worked toward an agreement that is fair for our customers and the company,” said SWEPCO President/COO Malcolm Smoak. “We are committed to high-quality customer service, managing our costs and investing in the electric system to provide reliable and safe power for the customers and communities we serve in Arkansas.”

Future hearings:

Settlement Hearing: Oct. 21, APSC building, Little Rock

Public Comment Hearings: Oct. 24, Ashdown, Ark.; Oct. 29, Fayetteville, Ark.

SWEPCO serves 536,300 customers in three states; 119,800 are in Arkansas.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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