Charlie Gordon, a CLECO customer, said she lives in her home alone with her pets. She is not sure why her electricity bill total is over $2,000 from the last three months. “The other day I stayed inside and cried just about the whole day because I couldn’t figure out how to take care of the bill so my lights wouldn’t turn off,” says Gordon.
She thought maybe her meter was broken. Gordon said it has been difficult to handle other bills. “I have been having problems paying the bill because it went up almost $600 since May. Every month it was almost $600,” she said.
Gordon is not the only one dealing with increasing utility bills. Christopher Sneed, whose parents are with CLECO, said their bill is almost $300 for June. “We have almost a $300 electric bill. That’s less food that we have to put on the table,” said Sneed. “My dad writes on our bills; this is a bad bill.”
CLECO Communication Strategist Fran Phoenix said hot temperatures with historical heat waves in Louisiana and fuel costs have been driving the cost up. “It’s like you can’t say what the fuel rate is going to be, but the lower your kilowatt-hour usage is the lower your charge,” said Phoenix.
Some tips are to turn the light off and make sure you have LED bulbs instead of the old traditional bulbs. Make sure that you’re not keeping devices plugged in that are fully charged. Phoenix said they mention Entergy’s advice to set your thermostat at 78 degrees but practicing other good habits can make a difference. “It’s things like that that we don’t think about, and we assume that’s not making my bill high, but every little thing comes together, and then you have your kilowatt-hour usage,” she said.
There are resources available to help customers year-round. Programs like Budget For It and completing a weatherization audit. If you have an issue with your bill the company is referring people to their call center at 1-800-622-6537.