SHREVEPORT, La., Aug. 10, 2021 – Southwestern Electric Power Co. (SWEPCO), an American Electric Power (Nasdaq: AEP) company, plans to deploy advanced digital meters to Texas retail customers over the next few years.
SWEPCO filed a request with the Public Utility Commission of Texas (PUCT) on Aug. 4 for its Advanced Metering System (AMS) deployment plan. Under the plan, SWEPCO proposes to begin with a pilot program for 10,000 Texarkana area customers in late 2021 followed by deployment to the rest of its Texas service territory in 2022-2023. In total, SWEPCO would deploy 195,000 meters to its Texas customers.
The proposed AMS uses advanced metering and secure wireless technology to provide timely and accurate meter reading data. Customers can use this data to better understand and manage their electricity usage.
Instead of monthly data, customers will be able to see their usage in 15-minute intervals, which may provide customers with opportunities to save money through proposed pricing initiatives such as time-of-use tariffs and energy conservation.
In addition, SWEPCO customers can benefit through improved customer service and real-time outage notification to SWEPCO for more seamless power restoration during outage events.
The advanced meters, also known as smart meters, are part of SWEPCO’s grid modernization initiatives. SWEPCO’s plan is consistent with Texas legislation that encourages AMS deployment as rapidly as practical to allow customers to better manage their energy use and control costs. AMS will replace SWEPCO’s current Automated Metering Reading system, which requires driving by customers’ premises for monthly meter reading, and physical visits to the locations for connection or disconnection or other meter services.
SWEPCO’s deployment schedule, if approved by the PUCT and subject to adjustment, includes the following cities and surrounding areas:
- 2021 (4th quarter) Texarkana area pilot project for 10,000 customers
- 2022 – Texarkana, McLeod, Marshall, Waskom, Carthage, Henderson, Kilgore, Longview, Gladewater, Gilmer, Mt. Pleasant
- 2023 – Mineola, Memphis
SWEPCO’s application to the PUCT also includes a new proposed rate schedule for an AMS surcharge, as well as fees for customers who elect to opt out for a non-standard meter. Pending PUCT approval, the surcharge would be $2.92 per month for residential customers for the first four years and $2.42 for the next four years. It would begin in April 2022. The surcharge for other rate classes varies and expires after four years.
The plan also includes a provision for customers to “opt-out” and elect a non-standard meter, with a proposed one-time fee ranging from $131.68 to $233.39 depending on the option elected, and a proposed recurring monthly customer fee of $22.97. Under PUCT rules, the fees are established to cover all costs of non-standard metering services and to recover those costs from the customers who elect non-standard metering service.
SWEPCO will conduct an outreach program to inform customers about the new metering system and how they can use it to manage their energy usage and costs. SWEPCO will notify individual customers prior to installation at their home or business.
About Southwestern Electric Power Co. (SWEPCO)
SWEPCO, an American Electric Power (Nasdaq: AEP) company, serves more than 543,000 customers in northwest and central Louisiana, northeast Texas and the Texas Panhandle, and western Arkansas. SWEPCO’s headquarters are in Shreveport, La. News releases and other information about SWEPCO can be found at SWEPCO.com. Connect with us at Facebook.com/SWEPCO, Twitter.com/SWEPCOnews, Instagram.com/swepco, Youtube.com/SWEPCOtv, LinkedIn.com/company/swepco and SWEPCOConnections.com.
About American Electric Power (AEP)
American Electric Power, based in Columbus, Ohio, is powering a cleaner, brighter energy future for its customers and communities. AEP’s approximately 16,800 employees operate and maintain the nation’s largest electricity transmission system and more than 223,000 miles of distribution lines to safely deliver reliable and affordable power to 5.5 million regulated customers in 11 states. AEP also is one of the nation’s largest electricity producers with approximately 30,000 megawatts of diverse generating capacity, including more than 5,600 megawatts of renewable energy. The company’s plans include growing its renewable generation portfolio to approximately 50% of total capacity by 2030. AEP is on track to reach an 80% reduction in carbon dioxide emissions from 2000 levels by 2030 and has committed to achieving net zero by 2050. AEP is recognized consistently for its focus on sustainability, community engagement, and diversity, equity and inclusion. AEP’s family of companies includes utilities AEP Ohio, AEP Texas, Appalachian Power (in Virginia and West Virginia), AEP Appalachian Power (in Tennessee), Indiana Michigan Power, Kentucky Power, Public Service Company of Oklahoma, and Southwestern Electric Power Company (in Arkansas, Louisiana, east Texas and the Texas Panhandle). AEP also owns AEP Energy, which provides innovative competitive energy solutions nationwide. For more information, visit aep.com.