Letter to the Editor: Tired of SWEPCO Power Outages

Jimmy Atherton / Opinion

If you are tired of the continual power outages we are experiencing, the PSC is the mechanism for resolving the issue. I have personally had eight power outages in the past three months but the problem goes much further than a few months or years.

I conveyed my frustration with SWEPCO’s non-response to emails, on-line complaint forms, survey response to President M. Smoak, phone calls to AEP (SWEPCO owners) customer service center in Ohio, etc. to the PSC. I also conveyed my frustration with the SWEPCO power outages that are continuing to be experienced.

However, the complaint system only seems to work when numerous people call and register a complaint. I have started the ball rolling by contacting the PSC, Foster Campbell’s office in Shreveport, with the outage complaint.

If you would like to register a complaint, then please make a call directly to Bill Robertson, Foster Campbell’s personal assistant, at 318-676-7464.

At the time I registered my complaint, I was not really aware of the history of SWEPCO outages, but with some research, I have found the following public information:

November 11, 2004

LPSC Commissioner Foster Campbell and SWEPCO Announce Tree Management Plan to Reduce Outages

SHREVEPORT, La., November 15, 2004 – AEP Southwestern Electric Power Company (SWEPCO) will nearly double spending on tree-trimming around power lines to reduce outages and improve reliability, the company and Louisiana Public Service Commissioner Foster Campbell jointly announced.
“Since I took office, I have been concerned about the number of tree-related outages that SWEPCO customers are experiencing,” Campbell said. “It became evident in the community meetings I have been conducting that something needed to be done. This move should help reduce outages.”


October 5, 2014

Campbell calls for review of SWEPCO Outages

Curtis Woody

Louisiana Public Service Commissioner Foster Campbell says he wants the utility regulator to study why so many Southwest Electric Power Co. customers lost electricity during a Thursday storm in northwest Louisiana.

Campbell told The Times of Shreveport that he didn’t believe winds should have been substantial enough to cause 35,000 outages across SWEPCO’s territory in Arkansas, Louisiana and Texas……………. A unit of Ohio-based American Electric Power, SWEPCO has 231,000 customers in northwest Louisiana. Campbell said he fears that in the event of an ice storm, SWEPCO couldn’t respond quickly enough and some customers might lack power for weeks.


December 20, 2018 2:15 pm GMT

Louisiana PSC Issues Order Involving Southwestern Electric Power


Targeted News Service

………… After an investigation into SWEPCO’s service quality in 1999, the Louisiana Public Service Commission (“Commission” or “LPSC”) required SWEPCO to implement a Service Quality Improvement Program (“SQIP”) including a minimum spending budget for vegetation management…………………..

From the above, I find my concerns are some of the same concerns that have been expressed by Mr. Foster Campbell in the past 10 years. I know that SWEPCO had outage issues that came with the Valley purchase in 2009. However, as we approach winter with the normal more severe weather, I agree with Mr. Campbell’s comments that the power outage frequency will probably increase with inclement weather.

It has been 10 years since the Valley purchase. That has been long enough for SWEPCO to “right the ship”.

As the old adage goes – if you don’t want to be part of the solution with a phone call, then don’t complain.

4 thoughts on “Letter to the Editor: Tired of SWEPCO Power Outages

  1. Valley Electric wasn’t near as bad as SWEPCO. It happens too often with SWEPCO. I heard Provencal was the problem this last time. I don’t know why Provencal would affect us! I pray they do something about it. This gets tiring!

  2. Transformer on 5800 block of Fern across the street from Dogwood always shorts out leaving customers without power. Yesterday no power from 4:15 to 5:30. Unacceptable!

  3. I have been on Swepco now for about 2 years. I spent about 15 on the city. Swepco is a million times better than the city. They lost power once a month. Sometimes on a still, quiet, sunny day. You must live in a very remote area.

    We have lost power once in 2 years on Swepco. When the tornado hit and tore everything up. They had it back up and running in about 8 hours.

  4. Agree with Jimmy. I have SWEPCO and most of my neighbors have Natchitoches City power. It’s frustrating when the neighbors rarely lose power. This summer our power went out several times ( once for 2 days/ ruining all our food). Last week during minor storm it was out for 8 hours and all neighbors had power. I’ve complained by email and automated surveys with no response. Outages have become more frequent and last longer since SWEPCO took over Valley. Don’t want to fork over $$$$ for built in generator but may have to. I’ll call the PCS office as well and hope others do so.

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