Saturday, July 20, 2024

Foster Campbell Announces Plan to Refund $23 Million to SWEPCO Customers

by BIZ Magazine

By Stacey Tinsley, Bossier Press-Tribune

A recently discovered accounting error shows that local electric provider SWEPCO has overbilled its 240,000 customers in 12 Northwest Louisiana parishes by more than $23 million, according to Public Service Commissioner Foster Campbell. Campbell, who represents District 5 on the Louisiana Public Service Commission, made the announcement during a news conference at his Shreveport office on Monday, June 17, 2024.

The accounting error was acknowledged by the company during a review of SWEPCO’s 2022-23 billing conducted by the Louisiana Public Service Commission (PSC).

Campbell said he will ask the commission to order refunds to SWEPCO customers in the form of bill credits in July, August, and September.

“I’m asking the PSC tomorrow to send this money back to the people it belongs to. SWEPCO has $23 million of the people’s money, and the people need it back. We’re going to vote tomorrow at the PSC to send this money back,” said Campbell.

The average SWEPCO residential customer uses 1,250 kilowatt-hours of electricity each month. For the customer, bill credits from the refund will total $21 each month, or $63 over the course of July, August, and September.

“We can give it all at one time. But we figured it would be better during the hot summer months if everybody got a $21 credit for those three months,” Campbell said.

“It’s the hottest time of the year. People’s bills are very, very hard for a lot of people to pay. $23 million is a lot of money. I’m glad it’s going back to the people,” he added.

As for businesses, Campbell says they will get more than a $21 credit for one month, including big businesses like casinos and medical schools.

“Businesses will get thousands of dollars back because they use a lot of electricity,” Campbell said.

Actual bill credits will depend on customer usage.

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