Eureka Springs woman fights SWEPCO, wins $4.2 million refund | Arkansas Blog

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Eureka Springs woman fights SWEPCO, wins $4.2 million refund

Posted By on Tue, Jun 14, 2016 at 9:32 AM

A complaint to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission by a Eureka Springs resident, Martha Peine, has produced a $4.2 million refund by SWEPCO to electric customers.

Peine, a non-practicing lawyer, argued, and the settlement ratifies, that SWEPCO was charging customers improperly in recovering transmission expenses for such costs as lobbying, advertising, charitable contributions and expenditures on entertainment of elected officials. A FERC staff review found even more improper charges in the rate structure of SWEPCO's parent AEP than the some $2 million Peine had contested. The agreement will prohibit many of these charges in the future. The refunds go to customers in a nine-state region including Arkansas in the form of a one-time credit on electric bills.

From a news release:

“While the end result in my case is a win for ratepayers, I will always wonder what mistakes there may be in the years to come,” said Ms. Peine. “The review process is complicated and time consuming. There is no person, entity, or agency that meaningfully reviews the rate updates on a regular basis, so there is always the potential for significant overcharges.”

”On behalf of Save the Ozarks, we congratulate Martha for her accomplishment,” said Pat Costner, STO Director. “Every SWEPCO electric customer owes a debt of gratitude to this remarkable woman, who has shown us that one person can make a big difference.”


Among the charges Peine had noted and contested were a $3,230 private air flight for SWEPCO President Venita McCellon-Allen to attend a luncheon honoring then-Arkansas PSC Chair Collette Honorable, now a member of FERCE. Customers also paid for a lunch with Larry Smith, mayor of Cave Springs, while presenting a check to the Illinois River Watershed Partnership for a sanctuary. The mayor later testified before the PSC in support of a high-voltage transmission line.

Tags: , , ,


Sign up for the Daily Update email
Favorite

Comments (4)

Showing 1-4 of 4

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-4 of 4

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

Readers also liked…

  • A response to police arrests becomes a tutorial on race, class and policing in Little Rock

    John Walker, the 79-year-old civil rights lawyer, and his associate, Omavi Shukur, 29, a young lawyer devoted to criminal justice reform, talked to press this afternoon about their arrests Monday by Little Rock police for supposedly obstructing governmental operations in observing and attempting to film a routine police traffic stop. It was a tutorial on sharp views of race, class and governance in Little Rock.
    • Sep 29, 2016
  • Trump administration approves Medicaid waiver for Kentucky, including work requirements

    The Trump administration today approved Kentucky's request for a waiver of Medicaid rules to implement certain changes to its Medicaid expansion program, including work requirements. Next up, Arkansas?
    • Jan 12, 2018
  • Donald Trump declares war on Hillary Clinton's marriage

    Donald Trump gave a remarkable interview to the New York Times yesterday in which he declared open season on the marriage of Bill and Hillary Clinton and Bill Clinton's past infidelity. Seems like a loser, but I've been wrong before.
    • Oct 1, 2016

Most Viewed

Most Recent Comments

Slideshows

 

© 2018 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation