AEP Southwestern Electric Power Co. has started shutting off service for business customers in Texas and Louisiana for nonpayment — and plans to do so for residential customers in Texas starting Sept. 1.

The Shreveport-based utility company said it had suspended disconnections for nonpayment temporarily in March for customers facing hardships because of the COVID-19 pandemic. SWEPCO had extended its suspension into mid-July for businesses in Texas and Louisiana as the utility continued to reach out and enroll customers in payment plans.

SWEPCO said it is working with state regulatory moratoriums when it comes to disconnecting service for homes in Texas and Louisiana.

The company expects to shut off service beginning Thursday for Louisiana residents for nonpayment.

“We understand that many customers are experiencing financial hardship during the pandemic, and we have added flexible bill payment options, including extended payment plans, to help customers get back on track,” Paul Pratt, SWEPCO director of customer services and marketing, said in a statement.

“We encourage customers to contact us so that we can work together to find solutions that fit their needs.”

Before any customers are disconnected for nonpayment, they will have received multiple notices and opportunities to enroll in payment arrangements, the company said.

“Taking action now can help keep balances and bills manageable, and keep electric service connected,” Pratt said.

Customers may set up payment arrangements by contacting SWEPCO at:

  • Customer Solutions Center — (877) 446-7211
  • or @SWEPCOnews on Twitter

SWEPCO also has a team dedicated to helping small business customers apply for federal relief programs and make payment arrangements.

Business customers may call (888) 776-1368 or go to AEP.com/SmallBusinessAssistance .

SWEPCO serves more than 536,000 customers in western Arkansas, Northwest and Central Louisiana, Northeast Texas and the Texas Panhandle.