Customers recently received a letter from Cleco Power about February fuels costs. In February, there was a significant spike in the cost of fuel and purchased power primarily due to the back-to-back ice storms, extremely low temperatures and higher usage. Fuel costs are billed to customers monthly after the expenses are incurred, calculated and reviewed. For example, the fuel expense for January was billed in March, the fuel expense for February will be billed in April and so forth. This two-month lag is normal to ensure fuel costs are accurate.
What customers need to know:
- Cleco Power uses multiples fuels to generate electricity and purchases power when needed to meet customer demand.
- The cost of these fuels fluctuates from month-to-month and is based on factors such as market prices, weather and plant operations. Fuel costs incurred by Cleco Power are passed directly to customers at cost and included on customer bills as a line item titled “Fuel Charge.” Since these fuel costs are a direct pass-through, Cleco Power does not profit from these costs in any way.
- To assist customers with the higher fuel costs from February and minimize the impact, Cleco Power worked with its regulatory agency, the Louisiana Public Service Commission (LPSC), on a plan to spread the increase in fuel costs over 12 months.
- Customers’ April bill would have reflected an increase in fuel costs of approximately $65 for an average residential customer using 1,000 kWh, but instead customer bills will be approximately $5 higher each month for the next 12 months (May 2021 through April 2022). After April 2022, customer bills will no longer reflect the fuel costs related to the February winter storms.
- If not for this plan, many customers would have seen a significant increase in their fuel costs on their April bill.
- Cleco Power’s fuel costs are audited by the LPSC on a regular basis and subject to any refunds the LPSC finds necessary upon completion of their audits.