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SWEPCO Issues Another Appeal TODAY to Conserve Electricity in NW Louisiana Only

July 15, 2009

You can Follow this Issue at twitter.com/swepconews
SHREVEPORT, La., July 15, 2009 – AEP Southwestern Electric Power Company (SWEPCO) is asking its customers to once again avoid using unnecessary lighting or electric appliances – and to limit use of air conditioning – until further notice today. SWEPCO customers were successful in reducing the overall load by 100 MWs by early Tuesday afternoon when compared to Monday’s extreme heat and load.

The request is being made because of high temperatures in Northwest Louisiana, increased demand for electricity and significant transmission problems with the electric system in Louisiana. SWEPCO’s year-to-date high demand for electricity was Monday, July 13, with an “unofficial” 4748 MW (megawatt) demand on the system. This amount is 1.7% below our forecasted high for the summer and 202 MWs under our all-time high peak demand, set August 4, 2008, with a 4950 MW demand throughout SWEPCO at 5 p.m. when Shreveport temperature was 102 degrees.

“At this point, we anticipate being able to meet the demand. However, the extreme heat conditions, along with unexpected electric system problems with our transmission lines, especially in the North Shreveport area, could change, so we are asking for our customers’ cooperation,” said Paul Chodak, SWEPCO president and chief operating officer. “We know that cutting back on electrical use, especially air conditioning, can be inconvenient and uncomfortable. But when everyone does something to help out, your combined efforts can help reduce overall demand for electricity and ease this emergency situation.”

SWEPCO is reducing power to certain industrial customers whose agreements with the utility allow curtailments. The company also is reducing power use at its own facilities.

If the situation worsens and demand is about to exceed the available supply of power on its lines, SWEPCO is prepared to implement its emergency load reduction plan. This procedure temporarily interrupts power to parts of the company’s service area to avoid a major “blackout.” SWEPCO would rotate the areas affected by the “controlled outages” so customers are not without service for more than two hours whenever possible. The temporary outages should not affect critical public health and public safety facilities.

“Your assistance by voluntarily reducing your use of electricity – especially during the peak hours between noon and 7 p.m. -- should allow SWEPCO to continue to provide uninterrupted service to its customers,” Chodak said. 
Here are some actions that customers can take to help ease the emergency situation:

  • Set your thermostat at 80 degrees and make similar adjustments to window units
  • Use portable or ceiling fans to circulate air and reduce the amount of air conditioning needed
  • Turn off unnecessary lights
  • Use washers, dryers and ovens later in the day so the heat and humidity they create will put less strain on your air conditioning.
SWEPCO will provide updates through the news media and on the company’s Web site, www.swepco.com.

SWEPCO, a unit of American Electric Power, is based in Shreveport, La., and serves 473,500 customers in three states, including 180,000 in northwest Louisiana.

News releases and other information about SWEPCO can be found at www.swepco.com.
MEDIA CONTACTS:
Scott McCloud, 318-673-3532 (office), 318-469-2293 (cell)
24/7 Media Voice Mail Box: 318-673-3060

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