DEMCO customers feel the heat as electricity bills start to climb

Local News

“I’ve never seen anything like this."

FILE – Ivet Cantu, 45, points to her electricity bill from Griddy Energy on an app showing her energy cost of $3,114.27, during recent severe cold weather outside of her home in Dallas, on Friday, Feb. 19, 2021. The company that drew attention after sending huge electricity bills to customers after last month’s blackout-causing winter storm in Texas has filed for bankruptcy protection. (Ben Torres/The Dallas Morning News via AP)

BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD)– One way to beat the heat is with electricity, however this may come at an extra hefty cost as people across the capitol area have been seeing a spike in their bills.

“I’ve never seen anything like this,” said Baton Rouge resident Anne LeBlanc.

Leblanc said she has seen a $250 increase in her usual bill, even when factoring in the hot weather.

With the added stress of COVID-19, Leblanc said it put her and others she knows in a tight spot.

“Unfortunately, it’s in the middle of a COVID pandemic when everyone is sick and missing work and it’s extremely hard to pay a 500 dollar light bill when everything else is piling on top,” she explained.

DEMCO said this rise in costs wasn’t done by them. They said the rise in power costs is because their supplier, CLECO power, increased their price of wholesale power.

“Even though DEMCO’s distribution costs are virtually the same from month to month, the cost per kilowatt-hour (kWh) of electricity for the next couple of months will be quite a bit higher than normal due to a significant increase in the cost of wholesale power. This increase in power costs is solely due to power generation decisions made by our major wholesale power supplier, CLECO Power,” said DEMCO CEO and General Manager Randy Pierce in a statement.

“CLECO Power is also continuing to bill DEMCO for costs associated with winter storm Uri earlier this year. DEMCO’s distribution costs are virtually the same from month to month. The cost of wholesale power, which is 60 to 65 percent of your electric bill, is a cost that fluctuates each month and is passed through to our members from CLECO Power,” he further explained.

DEMCO hopes to make some changes in the near future to adjust these costs.

“Though we do not have control over CLECO’s operational decisions, know that DEMCO has negotiated a new wholesale power contract which, if approved by the Louisiana Public Service Commission, will take effect in early 2024. A new power supply contract and wholesale power portfolio will give DEMCO the flexibility and competitive pricing to provide service to members at the lowest cost possible,” said Pierce in a statement.

For tips on how to save money on energy and electricity, click here.

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