By: Aaron Martin |

Southwestern Electric Power Co. (SWEPCO) was recently granted a rate increase by the Public Utility Commission of Texas (PUCT) to cover the costs of $700 million in environmental upgrades at four SWEPCO plants.

Residential customers using 1,000 kilowatt-hours of electricity will see their bills increase approximately 8.9 percent per month, which amounts to $8.59. The new rate will be retroactively applied dating back to last May. The surcharge will amount to approximately $7.70 per month.

“SWEPCO invested nearly $700 million in additional environmental controls so that four of our major power plants could meet stringent federal mandates,” SWEPCO President and CEO Venita McCellon-Allen said. “The retrofit projects were necessary for SWEPCO to continue providing reliable 24/7 power to our customers from a diverse energy resource mix.”

SWEPCO undertook environmental retrofits at Welsh Power Plant Units 1 and 3 in Pittsburg, Texas, Pirkey Power Plant in Hallsville, Texas, Dolet Hills Power Plant in Mansfield, Louisiana, and Flint Creek Power Plant in Gentry, Arkansas.

“We work hard to balance the need to make investments with the need to manage our costs because we recognize the impact that price increases can have on individuals, families, and businesses,” McCellon-Allen said. “SWEPCO’s goal is always to serve Texas customers with a strong electric system that provides reliable, safe and affordable energy.”

SWEPCO, a unit of American Electric Power, serves approximately 532,000 customers. Approximately 184,300 customers are located in northeast Texas and the Texas Panhandle.