Essential services – Southwestern Electric Power Co. (SWEPCO) has received approval in Arkansas, Louisiana, and Texas for crucial employees and contractors to be able to continue to perform critical job functions to keep the lights on. We have also worked to make sure that equipment suppliers and support industries essential to our business can continue to provide the necessary equipment and services. Also, we continue to work providing essential electricity service to our customers following Louisiana’s statewide Stay-at-Home order issued by Gov. John Bel Edwards.
Scams – During the COVID-19 crisis, SWEPCO is continually monitoring and working to heighten awareness of scams. SWEPCO will never demand immediate payment for a customer to avoid disconnection, and we will never ask customers to use pre-paid debit cards for payment. Scammers’ tactics include:
- Threatening to shut off power unless a customer makes an immediate payment.
- Going door to door and negotiating total bill amounts if a customer makes an immediate payment.
- Telling customers they need a new meter, but you must make payment before the installation of your new meter.
- They offer a discount on your SWEPCO bill if you sign up for auto-pay.
- Demanding a deposit be paid immediately.
Report scam attempts to SWEPCO at 1-888-216-3523. SWEPCO tracks fraud attempts and works with local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies to identify and prosecute scammers. You can find more information on scammers’ tactics at SWEPCO.com/StopScams.
Suspension of Service Disconnections:
SWEPCO has temporarily suspended all service disconnections for non-payment. We know our customers are concerned about their families, and ensuring they have reliable electric service allows them to focus on staying healthy and well. We urge customers to make every effort to keep their accounts current during the period when we suspend disconnections.
If customers anticipate problems paying their electric bill, they should contact us by phone at 1-888-216-3523 or through Facebook or Twitter to discuss payment options. SWEPCO understands the critical nature of the services we provide and is committed to the health and safety of our customers, communities, and employees.
We prepare for all types of emergencies, and we have updated our plans for the COVID-19 pandemic. We are closely monitoring the situation and do not anticipate COVID-19 will disrupt our ability to provide electric service to our customers. We have taken significant steps to ensure we can still serve our customers while keeping our employees healthy, including:
- Instructing our line crews and other employees critical to maintaining service on how to perform their work while working in smaller teams, adjusting work schedules, practicing physical distancing, monitoring themselves for any symptoms, and taking other preventive measures recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
- All employees who can work from home are helping prevent the spread of the virus.
- We are working with our suppliers and contractors to maintain access to needed equipment and materials.
- We have restricted outside visitors to all of our facilities, except for delivery trucks, restricted all business travel that is not business critical and restricted participation in face-to-face meetings – both internally and hosted by outside groups.
- We are monitoring any coronavirus tests, diagnoses, and exposures of our employees and their household members, as well as personal international travel and international visitors staying in their homes. We will ask some team members to self-monitor or self-quarantine, depending upon their exposure.
It is a rapidly evolving situation. We are following recommendations from the CDC and continually reviewing our responses and the guidance we are providing to our employees.