GUEYDAN, La. (KLFY) Barton Kibodeaux, a Gueydan resident, says despite having cut back on utility usage at his home he is still faced with a high electric bill.
He shared with News 10 that his electricity bill for the month of September was over $700.
As frustrated as he is by his own problems, that frustration quickly turns to concern when he thinks about the older people in the area who live on a fixed income and are having to make choices between food, medicine and lights.
“How can we charge the elderly people that make $600, $700 a month, and they have to spend $450 of that for their electric bills.”
During a town hall meeting earlier this week, Gueydan Mayor Jude Reese told those in attendance that he had reached out to Cleco to discuss their electrical rates.
He said the electrical rate charge of 4.6 percent per kilowatt hour has been that way for the last six years.
“That does not fluctuate, that does not change. What changes is the power charge base on the lowering or raising of the natural gas on the market, because that’s mostly what’s used to produce this energy at the plant as natural gas is burned.”
For now Mayor Reese is encouraging residents to conserve energy.
He shares that during the course of the day, his wife runs their thermostat at 78 degrees. Other tips, he says, are to close the windows and turn the lights off.
“We should have some relief here soon, hopefully once the winter months come along and start to cool off, and that would reduce usage, but the using thing right now is usage and also a supply and demand. Demand is high, and supply is low.”
Those seeking assistance in the Vermilion Parish area can contact Catholic daughters, and the St. Mary Community Action Agency.
“Whenever the economy picks back up, then y’all can pick y’all ordinance back up. Right now, everybody’s hurting,” Kibodeaux said.