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Church Suffering With Sky High Electric Bill - KTBS.com - Shreveport, LA News, Weather and Sports

Church Suffering With Sky High Electric Bill

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One church in West Shreveport is having trouble paying their electric bill. But that's because the bill is hundreds of dollars every month and the church only has a congregation of maybe 75 people on any given Sunday. "It's my job to see to the well being of the church and to secure a financially successful budget is really tough because this is one of the main things that's killing us," said Melvin Porter, the pastor of Union Mission Baptist Church #2 in West Shreveport. And this small church, has a big problem.

"Seven out of these 11 months of this year the billing has been over 500 dollars. Two of those months, it was over a thousand," Pastor Porter said. The church's electric service is provided by Panola Harrison Electric Co Op out of East Texas. Officials with the company say that they've been serving the church and other customers in the City of Shreveport for years because at one point, no one else would provide electricity to the area. Now 50 years later, Union Mission #2 is stuck with the electric company and the bills. Pastor Porter says he wants to switch to AEP Swepco to get cheaper rates or else the church could fail. "Finances will make it unable for us to consistently pay 6 and 7 hundred dollar electric bills. It will eventually wipe us out," Pastor Porter concluded.


Panola Harrison Electric Co Op in Marshall, Texas sent us this response.

"As Shreveport has expanded over the past 30 years, areas that were once rural communities have been annexed by the city where Panola Harrison lines previously existed.  The members of Panola Harrison Electric coop banned together in the 1930s to build electric lines in the rural communities in Louisiana and Texas, because  the investor owned utilities would not build the lines because it was not profitable.  Panola Harrison is a nonprofit organization that is owned by its members.  Panola-Harrison has thousands of members in the Shreveport area including the areas surrounding Buncombe RD and Colquitt RD just to name a few places.  The bill is determined by the members consumption of electricity. Panola Harrison's rates are regulated  by the Public Service Commission. Panola-Harrison helps educate its members on how to lower their electricity costs by publishing  energy efficiency measures in a monthly publication sent to each member called the Louisiana Country."


Officials with Panola Harrison are working to schedule a meeting with the church to figure out a solution to their electric bill problem.

 

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