SWEPCO Sets Another New All-Time Record Peak Demand August 16

Extreme summer temperatures of 100 degrees and above and high humidity across Arkansas, Louisiana and Texas this week have sent usage of electricity by customers of AEP Southwestern Electric Power Company (SWEPCO) to another all-time high level. A new “unofficial” peak customer demand was established Wednesday, August 16, 2006, with a record 4,910 megawatt load on the SWEPCO system.

The record 4,910 megawatt (MW) record load (3.7% over projected high for the summer) was set at 5:00 p.m. when the Shreveport temperature was 103 degrees. SWEPCO’s all-time record peak load prior to Wednesday had been set last month on July 19, with a 4,898 MW load on the system when temperatures in Shreveport reached 102 degrees. The summer 2005 peak load was 4,725 MWs on August 23. Prior to 2005, the summer high mark was set on August 31, 2000, when the demand reached 4,625 MWs and the Shreveport temperature was 108 degrees. A megawatt is a million watts, or enough energy to supply power to about 1,000 homes. SWEPCO is a member of the Southwest Power Pool, a regional reliability council with over 40,000 megawatts of electric generation available to serve four million customers in eight states.

Many SWEPCO customers will see higher electric bills because of the hot weather, increased electricity usage in August, and higher natural gas costs. Company representatives will work on an individual basis with customers experiencing difficulty paying an electric bill.

Customers may want to take advantage of SWEPCO’s Average Monthly Payment (AMP) plan, which allows residential customers to pay approximately the same amount each month for their electric service. Also, the company’s Neighbor To Neighbor energy assistance program helps families pay their electric bills during times of special need, such as extreme hot temperatures or financial emergencies. SWEPCO provides ongoing support by contributing annually to the program during the summer months ($130,000 was given to the program in 2006). Since the program began in 1993, over $1.5 million dollars in funds generated from SWEPCO and over 10,000 of its customers have helped some 15,000 families in SWEPCO’s service area. Contact SWEPCO 24 hours a day toll-free at 1-888-216-3523 for details on these programs.

SWEPCO’s utilizes Wyoming low-sulfur coal and locally-mined lignite at four of its nine power plants in its three-state service territory for over 85 percent of its power generation, with the remainder of its energy needs coming from natural gas.

SWEPCO serves 454,000 customers in western Arkansas, Northwest Louisiana and East Texas within a 25,000 square-mile service area. SWEPCO serves 174,000 customers in Louisiana, 168,000 in Texas and 112,000 in Arkansas.

Scott McCloud
Corporate Communications