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Southwestern Electric Power reaches settlement agreement in Ark. rate case

Southwestern Electric Power Co. filed a proposed settlement agreement with the Arkansas Public Service Commission that would provide a net annual increase of $24.1 million in nonfuel base rates, according to an Oct. 15 company news release.

Other parties to the settlement agreement were Arkansas Public Service Commission General Staff, the state attorney general, the board of trustees of the University of Arkansas, Walmart Inc., Western Arkansas Large Energy Consumers and the Sierra Club.

The utility, an American Electric Power Co. Inc. subsidiary that serves 536,300 customers in three states, originally sought a net annual increase of $45.6 million in nonfuel base rates and an additional $12 million for vegetation management.

If approved by the commission, an average residential customer consuming 1,000 kWh monthly would see an increase of 8.8%, or about $8.54 per month, on their bills. The new rates would take effect in the first billing cycle of January 2020.

The settlement agreement would also allow the inclusion of $28.9 million of costs now recovered through separate charges into base rates. The agreement also includes a formula rate plan covering a five-year period. (Arkansas PSC Docket No. 19-008-U)