Prescott, Arkansas (Photo: Google Maps Data)

A small town in Arkansas has had enough of their energy company charging them high rates.

According to ABC affiliate KATV, the city of Prescott, the city’s school district, a bank, a business and a citizen are suing Southwestern Electric Power Company (SWEPCO) for not following through on promises to pursue rate-lowering projects they promised the customers they would do.

The lawsuit seeks compensation of more than $3 million for, “damages incurred between 2014 and 2018,” KATV noted.

In KATV’s report, they pulled archived footage from an interview with a local resident back in 2015 when the news station highlighted the town’s struggles with high electricity bills.

The resident, Chad McKinnon, told KATV he was having to decide between paying for groceries and paying his electricity bills.

Complaint focuses on two broken promises

The consortium of plaintiffs in the lawsuit claimed that SWEPCO promised a pair of developments that would have reduced ratepayers bills.

The first of those grievances came in June 2017, the report states, when SWEPCO told its customers it would build a transmission line to Prescott that would save $770,000 a year.

In 2018, the suit alleges that SWEPCO promised they’d lower bills by bringing in energy from a “wind farm in Oklahoma” but, like the previous promise, SWEPCO didn’t follow through.

SWEPCO has history of double billing, lawyer alleges

In 2017, a meeting took place between the city’s lawyer, Dave Wilson, and various utility/electricity related representatives.

At that meeting, the Magnolia Reporter reported, a city attorney explained that SWEPCO was double billing its customers.

Wilson went on to detail how the city came to this point, highlighting the progression of legislation and regulation.

According to the Magnolia reporter, Wilson said the following at the meeting: “SWEPCO is impervious to Prescott’s needs.”

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