Facts, Figures & Bios

SWEPCO - Celebrating a Century of Service in 2012

SWEPCO Celebrating 100 logo

Formed as Southwestern Gas and Electric Company in June 1912, AEP Southwestern Electric Power Company (SWEPCO) is 100 years old, has undergone a name change twice, and no longer provides gas, water, ice or transportation services.

The original Southwestern Gas and Electric Company was the product of a merger between three utilities – Shreveport Gas, Electric Light and Power Company, Caddo Gas and Oil Company, and Texarkana Gas and Electric Company. These utilities were owned by a trio of brothers – Rufus, Henry and Charles Dawes, and in 1912 they consolidated their holdings into one company and Southwestern was born.

The Dawes retained control of Southwestern until 1925 when it was sold to Middle West Utilities. The largest of Middle West’s many holding companies was Central and South West. Southwestern became a part of CSW, which also controlled Central Power and Light Co., Public Service Company of Oklahoma and West Texas Utilities.

The company got out of the gas business in 1928. But through the 1930s and early 1940s, Southwestern was involved in other operations such as ice, water and streetcars, before divesting of these interests in the late 1940s.

Southwestern’s service territory continued to expand, and the company’s original power plant units, including the 10,000-kilowatt (KW) “giant” of its day, Arsenal Hill in Louisiana, were inadequate to meet the growing need. Southwestern built natural gas-fired plants and added multiple generating units in various locations in the 1940s and 1950s, including Knox Lee Power Plant on Cherokee Lake near Longview, Tex,; and the Lieberman Power Plant on Caddo Lake at Mooringsport, La.

In 1958, after 46 years as Southwestern Gas and Electric, a new corporate name was adopted – Southwestern Electric Power Company. This name would change again 42 years later, with the American Electric Power merger of 2000 to reflect the company as its known today – AEP Southwestern Electric Power Company, or more commonly as SWEPCO. AEP celebrated its 100-year anniversary in 2006.

By the early 1970s, natural gas shortages hit and long-term contracts couldn’t be found. The advantages of coal were obvious – inexpensive, abundant and available in the U.S. Southwestern would go on to build two coal plants in the late 1970s and early 1980s – Flint Creek in NW Arkansas, and Welsh in East Texas.

Continued customer growth created the need for additional plants. The fuel to fire these plants was found right in SWEPCO’s own back yard – lignite. The Pirkey Plant in East Texas was completed in 1985, and the Dolet Hills Power Plant in Louisiana went on line in 1986. SWEPCO built Dolet Hills, while Central Louisiana Electric Company (Cleco) operates the plant and both SWEPCO and Cleco are partners with two other companies that share in the power produced from its single 640,000 KW unit.

While the company did not build a power plant for over 20 years, increased electricity usage and strong customer growth prompted a return to the plant building business again. SWEPCO’s balanced approach to new generation, announced in 2006, included both coal and natural gas plants to support generation fuel diversity. The 600-megawatt, coal-fueled John W. Turk, Jr. Power Plant is a base-load facility designed to meet customers’ need for power that is consistently available 24/7. The advanced coal combustion plant, which uses ultra-supercritical technology, began operations near Hope in Hempstead County, Ark., in December 2012. SWEPCO also added peaking generation to its fleet through the 300-MW natural gas-fueled Harry D. Mattison Power Plant in Northwest Arkansas, which came on line in 2007; and intermediate generation from the 508-MW combined-cycle natural gas-fueled J. Lamar Stall Unit at Arsenal Hill in Shreveport, La., which came on line in 2010.

The company received Texas commission approval and transferred 7,000 retail electric customers in five counties in the Texas Panhandle from AEP Texas to SWEPCO in 2007. The change was made because these customers were located in the same regional reliability council known as the Southwest Power Pool as the rest of SWEPCO’s East Texas customers. These new customers immediately saw lower electric prices, with an estimated annual savings of about 15 to 20 percent depending on usage.

Additionally, SWEPCO finalized the purchase of Valley Electric Membership Corporation (VEMCO) in October 2010. These 30,000 customers in eight northern and central Louisiana parishes also enjoy electric rate savings of about 20 percent. Adding Valley’s service area greatly expands SWEPCO’s geographic footprint in Louisiana and brings economic growth opportunities with the company’s lower rates along the Interstate 49 and Toledo Bend corridors.

SWEPCO values its most cherished assets – its customers and its employees. When the company was first formed, it had 125 employees and served only three communities – Shreveport, Bossier City and Texarkana – with a combined population of 42,000. Today, SWEPCO serves over 200 communities on its lines, representing a diverse 33,000-square mile service area of northern and central La., east and north Texas, and western Arkansas with a population of two million. There are 1,640 company employees supplying electricity to over 520,000 customers over 5,000 miles of transmission lines and about 25,500 miles of distribution power lines.

SWEPCO has most recently purchased over 469,000 KW of long-term renewable power capacity from wind farms in Texas, Oklahoma and Kansas, which will slightly lower the company’s overall cost to customers starting in 2013.

SWEPCO is proud of its 100-year commitment to reliable rates at affordable prices for its customers, and will continue to be a powerful company in the Ark-La-Tex.

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Privacy Policy

Privacy Policy for Southwestern Electric Power Company (SWEPCO), a unit of American Electric Power (AEP)


This Privacy Policy applies only to SWEPCO.com and the Southwestern Electric Power Company customer mobile app (com.aep.customerapp.swepco). Other AEP websites and apps may be governed by their own privacy policies, appropriate to the uses and needs of each. Throughout the site or app, we may provide links to resources and sites that are not part of SWEPCO.com or the Southwestern Electric Power Company customer mobile app. This Privacy Policy does not apply to those resources and sites.


By using this site or app, you consent to the terms of this Privacy Policy. Whenever you submit information via this site or app, you agree to the collection, use, and disclosure of that information in accordance with this Privacy Policy.

Information Collected

  1. Passively collected information

    During your use of this site or app, we may collect anonymous information about your visit here through the use of server logs, cookies, scripts, tracking pixels and other Web traffic tracking systems. This information is aggregated and used to improve user experience through analysis of user activities. This information is never combined with any of the personally identifiable information you may provide in your use of the features of this site or app.
  2. Personally identifiable information

    On certain forms of this site or app, you may be asked to provide information about yourself or your account with us, either to identify yourself to us or to request a service from us. In each case, we will inform you what information is provided at your option and what information is required to complete the transaction or activity you are engaged in. If you are unwilling to provide this required information, you will be unable to complete the requested transaction.

Use and disclosure of information

The information you provide to us will be used to respond to requests you may make for services. Some or all of this information may be added to your permanent account record and may be used for research purposes.

In addition, we may use elements of this information in the following situations:

  1. We may transfer the information to SWEPCO’s affiliates and subsidiaries, unless such transfer is prohibited by law;
  2. We may transfer the information as part of a merger, consolidation, acquisition, divestiture or other corporate restructuring (including bankruptcy);
  3. We may make the information available to third parties who are providing the product, service or information that you have requested (but not your password);
  4. We may make such information available to third parties who are providing services to SWEPCO (for example, providing the information to third parties performing computer-related services for SWEPCO);
  5. We may use the information to communicate with you about products and services that may be of interest to you.
  6. We may disclose the information if we form a good-faith belief that disclosure of such information is necessary to investigate, prevent, or take action regarding any illegal activities or regarding interference with the operation of our site or violation of its terms of use; or
  7. We may disclose the information if we believe that disclosure is required by law or regulation or in response to a subpoena or other order of a court or other governmental agency.

SWEPCO uses Flurry Analytics Service (provided by Yahoo) in order to improve its mobile apps. Flurry’s privacy policy governs the use of this information.

Also, SWEPCO reserves the right to share any aggregated information (i.e., non-personally identifiable information) with any third parties for any reason, unless prohibited by law.

We will not sell, rent or otherwise disclose the information we gather about you or your account to any third party, except as outlined in this Privacy Policy.


SWEPCO takes reasonable steps to protect your personally identifiable information as it is transferred to us, through the use of Web technologies such as the Secure Sockets Layer and others. However, no Internet transmission of information is ever completely secure or error-free. In particular, e-mail sent to or from SWEPCO may not be secure.

How to Reach Us

If you would like to update your personally identifiable information or if you have questions about this privacy policy, please contact us.

Changes to This Policy

SWEPCO reserves the right to change this Privacy Policy at any time. If this Privacy Policy changes, the revised policy will be posted to this site. Please review this Privacy Policy before you provide any personally identifiable information through this site. Use of our web site after the posting of a revised privacy policy constitutes your consent to the revised policy.

This policy was last revised on December 13, 2017.

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