Tens of thousands of consumers living in north and east Texas would end up paying 20 percent more for electricity under a proposed rate hike by AEP Southwestern Electric Power Company.

The company (which is more commonly known as SWEPCO) filed its request before the Texas Public Utility Commission on August 28. PUC approval would mean that even customers using as little as 1,000 kilowatt-hours per month would see electric bills go up by $16 beginning in the spring.

The hike would generate an extra $82 million per year for SWEPCO — including an extra $31.6 million for ongoing power plant construction — according to the filing. Also included is an additional $43.31 million for the company to serve its retail customers and an additional $6.9 million resulting from the termination of two merger related credits.

Oncor Electric, the north Texas transmission and distribution utility, also recently pushed to substantially hike its customers’ rates. But after municipalities and others mounted a defense at the PUC, regulators cut the requested hike by more than half.

SWEPCO serves about 180,000 customers in the eastern and northern regions of the state. It also serves Louisiana and Arkansas.

— R.A. Dyer