Luncheon Honors BREMCO/SWEPCO Scholarship Recipients

SHREVEPORT, La., July 23, 2008 — SWEPCO and Public Service Commissioner Foster Campbell hosted a luncheon today honoring first-year recipients of the BREMCO-SWEPCO scholarships.

Individual scholarships of up to $3,000 were made available for the fall 2008 academic year to assist eligible undergraduate students pursuing studies at a Louisiana college, university or technical school.

In June of this year, an independent committee of college professionals reviewed the scholarship applications and awarded twenty-three scholarships based on scholastic ability. Former Bossier Rural Electric Membership Corporation (BREMCO) members and their children were eligible.

“SWEPCO is pleased to make these scholarships available to deserving students in our area,” said Paul Chodak, president and chief operating officer.  “Education is a major focus area for SWEPCO, and these scholarships are in keeping with our commitment to expand educational opportunities in our communities.”

“I look forward to beginning a new chapter in my life,” said Erika Anderson of Benton, La. She will pursue a degree in agriculture education at Louisiana Tech University. Other schools represented include LSUS, Southern University and Louisiana Technical College in Shreveport; Bossier Parish Community College, Northwestern State University, and the University of Louisiana at Monroe.

Working with Campbell and the PSC, SWEPCO transferred approximately $1.1 million in capital credits to the scholarship fund last year.  Campbell suggested the scholarship fund as a fair way to distribute the unrefunded balance.

“This college scholarship fund is possible due to the capital credits accumulated by BREMCO members through the 55-year history of the co-op,” Campbell said.  “It will be a unique and long-lasting legacy of the co-op and its members.”

Capital credits are revenues collected by rural electric cooperatives in profitable years and allocated back to co-op members based on the amount of electricity used in years when the co-op’s revenue exceeds the cost of providing electric service.  In years when co-ops suffer losses no credits are generated.

Applications for the 2009 school year will be accepted in early 2009. Former BREMCO members and their children may contact SWEPCO’s Customer Solution Center at 1-866-789-8902 or email BREMCO@aep.com for more information about the scholarships. 

SWEPCO serves over 471,000 customers, including 178,000 in Northwest Louisiana. News releases and other information about SWEPCO can be found at http://swepco.com.

Kay Holt
Communications Consultant