Ark-La-Tex woman trying to understand $1,200 dollar utility bill - KSLA News 12 Shreveport, Louisiana News Weather & Sports

Ark-La-Tex woman trying to understand $1,200 dollar utility bill

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SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA) -

Beatrice Smith is a diabetic on a fixed income. She says she brings in $800-a-month - which is not nearly enough to pay for her recent SWEPCO bills, which recently have been $1,000 or more.

"They turned it off a week ago last Thursday," said Smith.

She was able to get the electricity turned back on through the generosity of organizations that help pay for utilities, like the Caddo Community Action Agency. That agency and other faith based organizations have kept her from sitting in the dark.

"And I was prepared to do that, just sit here in the dark," said Smith.

Smith says they picked up the tab on the $1,200 bill, but she's already racked up another $800 in electricity.

Smith claims she's not using that much electricity, and that her bills, one way or another, are paid each month.

SWEPCO would not discuss her account with us. They suggest she calls them to set up a payment plan, and that she could benefit from the average monthly payment plan. That allows customers to pay about the same amount each month based on an average of the last 12 months.

The Caddo Community Action Agency also offers help, for more information on that program and to see if you qualify, call 318-861-4808.

The director at that agency, Laurence Guidry, says his organization's federal dollars are limited, and you can only apply a couple of times a year, but many Ark-La-Tex churches have very effective programs that can help where federally funded agencies can't.

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