Customers see sharp increases in bills, Cleco’s President says assistance is available to help

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(KLFY)- Cleco says three major hurricanes impacted their service territory, Hurricanes Laura, Delta and Zeta.

The cost to restore power totaled to $240 million.

President Shane Hilton says that is the largest combined storm expense in the company’s history.

Customers are now seeing the changes and are outraged in billing increases.

One customer says their bill went from $100 to $300 in just a month.

Another customer says their bill tripled in just one billing cycle.

“We don’t qualify for FEMA. The only recourse we have is to collect it at a low interest bond from customers,” explains Hilton.

With the base rate increase causing some bills to almost double, customers now worry about how they will keep up with payments.

One customer took to social media saying, they have never seen a bill increase like this in years.

Hilton explains, “It’s expensive to run right now because of fuel. As we all know we have a hot summer. We have to run all resources to meet the customer demands.”

Hilton says in February 2021, there was a large spike in the cost of fuel due to higher customer usuage and back to back ice storms.

To assist customers, he says Cleco spread the increase in cost over a 12 month period, May 2021 through April 2022.

After April 2022, bills will no longer reflect fuel cost related to the Febraury’s ice storm.

“During that long cold week, we saw natural gas prices go up, then everything happen in Texas. We had to pay a lot of money for fuel, to keep lights on and heaters running,” says Hilton.

Cleco tells News Ten, assistance is available to customers who are having difficulty with sharp increases.

Click here to find out more.

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