SWEPCO ready to respond to winter weather; offers tips for extreme cold

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SHREVEPORT, La., Feb. 14, 2021 – As a major winter storm bears down on the region, Southwestern Electric Power Co. (SWEPCO) is prepared to respond. Widespread or lengthy outages are not expected with a forecast of primarily snow and sleet.

“We’ve activated our storm management processes and are coordinating with local emergency management authorities across our service territory,” said Drew Seidel, SWEPCO vice president of Region Distribution Operations. “The forecasted snow and sleet for most of our service territory generally do not create the same utility problems as freezing rain and ice. We continue to monitor the forecast for potential weather-related impacts.”

SWEPCO has more than 1,000 line, tree and support personnel ready to respond if needed.

You can report outages and get the latest restoration times by downloading the SWEPCO app at SWEPCO.com/App or going to SWEPCO.com/OutageMap. You also can call us at 1-888-218-3919 to report outages or safety hazards.

Tips for Extreme Cold

Your appliances may kick into overdrive during frigid weather, including heat pumps, gas furnace blowers, and portable space heaters. These conditions can not only drive up your electric bill, but they can be unsafe too. Here are some key things to remember during the extreme cold.

Being Efficient and Staying Warm

Set thermostats as low as appropriate for staying healthy and comfortable.
Turn off lights and electric appliances that you don’t need or aren’t using.
Keep doors and windows closed as much as possible, including overhead doors on attached garages.
Open curtains on the sunny side of the house to warm up your home. If there’s no sun, close the shades to keep warm air inside.
Add door sweeps and weatherization strips to reduce outside air coming in.
When the fireplace is not in use, be sure the damper is tightly closed.

Cold Weather Safety

Take extreme care when using a space heater. Place it at least three feet away from anything that can burn, including curtains and walls, and unplug it before you leave the room.
Never use a stove or oven to heat your home.
If you’re using a fireplace, use a glass or metal fire screen. Be sure it’s large enough to catch sparks or rolling logs.
Use generators correctly – never operate one inside your home, including the basement or garage.
Guard against carbon monoxide poisoning. Make sure you have smoke and carbon monoxide detectors and that they are working properly and have fresh batteries.
Prevent your pipes from freezing by running a constant trickle of water. Open the kitchen and bathroom cabinets to allow warmer air to circulate around the plumbing.
Be aware of downed power lines, which can be hidden by snow, sleet or ice. If you see a downed line, stay away and keep others away, especially children and pets. Call SWEPCO or 911.

Avoid Payment Spikes

SWEPCO’s Average Monthly Payment (AMP) Plan evens out payments throughout the year to account for seasonal spikes in usage. Bills adjust on a 12-month rolling average and change only slightly each month, making bills more predictable.

If you’re struggling to pay electric bills during the pandemic, please contact SWEPCO so we can work together to find a solution. We’re ready to work with you, with flexible options, including extended payment agreements. Even if you did not qualify for payment arrangements in the past, you may now be eligible. Please contact us:

  • SWEPCO.com/Assist
  • Customer Solutions Center: 1-877-446-7211
  • Facebook or Twitter.