Campbell: SWEPCO will refund $6.2 million to customers

SWEPCO will refund $6.2 million to its 231,000 Louisiana customers to settle a rate case approved by the Louisiana Public Service Commission Wednesday.

Meeting by video teleconference due to the Coronavirus, the LPSC unanimously voted with North Louisiana Commissioner Foster Campbell to decide a “Formula Rate Plan” case based on SWEPCO’s 2017 expenses and earnings.

The decision Wednesday also settled SWEPCO’s 2017 “Tax Cuts and Jobs Act” obligations to its customers.  The tax cut enacted by Congress in 2017 reduced SWEPCO’s federal tax rate from 35 to 21 percent.  The LPSC subsequently ordered all for-profit utilities in Louisiana to pass their tax savings onto customers.

“This action by the Commission means the average SWEPCO residential customer will see a $6.18 credit on their bills for the months of August, September and October,” Campbell said.

“I’m happy we were able to refund this money during the hot months of summer, when electric bills are highest in North Louisiana, and also at a time when many families are suffering financially from the virus.”

SWEPCO said its average Louisiana residential customer uses 1,381 kilowatt-hours of power per month.  The $6.18 credit to average customers will be larger for those using more power and smaller for those using less.

Campbell said the LPSC in 2018 ordered Louisiana for-profit utilities like SWEPCO to track and record the impacts of the 2017 federal tax cut on company finances in anticipation of refunding the savings to customers.

“We told SWEPCO, Entergy, CLECO and other utility corporations that their tax savings would be passed on to customers as soon as the accounting was completed and approved,” Campbell said.