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Cleco Offering New Program For Low-income Customers

Feb 1, 2010

Cleco CARE application period starts today

PINEVILLE, La., - Customers who meet certain income guidelines can apply to receive a 25 percent discount on the fuel portion of their July, August and September bills under a new Cleco program.

"We know many of our customers struggle to pay bills when the weather is hot and electric usage is high," said Anthony Bunting, vice president of customer service and energy delivery. "Bills for July, August and September are typically some of the highest. By offering a discount during these months, we hope to provide a little relief to our low-income customers."

The CARE (Cleco Alternative Rate for Electricity) program is available to all customers who meet the income guidelines used for LIHEAP (Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program). Area community action agencies are taking CARE program applications during the months of February, March and April. Customers must apply at one of the agencies during those months to qualify for the CARE discount this summer. Customers will be required to re-qualify each year for the program.

"We estimate 30 percent of our customers could qualify for this program," said Bunting. "We urge those customers to apply."

Another way Cleco assists low-income seniors and disabled customers is through the Power of Sharing Fund. The company, its employees and customers contribute to the fund monthly. Power of Sharing funds are distributed through local Councils on Aging and are available to seniors and disabled persons of legal age. The funds are used to help pay utility bills.

Cleco also will hold its tenth annual fan drive beginning in April. Each year, Cleco employees statewide hold fan drives. They collect fans and raise funds to purchase fans for the elderly across Cleco's service territory. Last year, the drive provided more than 1,500 fans for distribution by local Councils on Aging and other agencies.

"We are always looking for ways to help our customers," said Bunting. "This new CARE program is one of many efforts.

"Our employees also work with local agencies and organizations to weatherize homes for our low-income customers. They go out into the community to talk about lowering bills through energy conservation. And our customer service representatives provide conservation tips and advice to customers every day."

Below is a list of community action agencies serving Cleco customers.

Community Action Partnerships (CAP) Agencies LIHEAP Providers by Parish

Acadia Parish
SMILE Community Action Agency
11 N. Parkerson Ave.
Crowley, LA

Allen Parish
Allen Action Agency, Inc.
505 W. 7th Ave.
Oberlin, LA

Avoyelles Parish
Avoyelles Progress Action Committee, Inc.
641 Government St.
Marksville, LA

Beauregard Parish 
Beauregard Community Action Assn.., Inc.
104 W. Port St.
DeRidder, LA

Calcasieu Parish
Calcasieu Parish Office of Community Services
2001 Moeling St.
Lake Charles, LA

DeQuincy City Hall
300 N. Holly St.
DeQuincy, LA

DeSoto, Red River, Sabine Parishes
DeSoto Parish Office of Community Services
404 Polk St., Suite B
Mansfield, LA

Evangeline Parish
Evangeline Community Action Agency
403 West Magnolia Street
Ville Platte, LA 

Grant Parish
North CentraLA Community Action Agency 
205 Main St.
Colfax, LA

Iberia Parish
SMILE Community Action Agency
722 Walton St.
New Iberia, LA

Natchitoches Parish
Natchitoches Parish Office of Community Services 
415 Trudeau St.
Natchitoches, LA 

Rapides Parish
Cenla Community Action Committee, Inc.
1335 Jackson Street
Alexandria, LA 

Rapides - (Reservation Only)

Clifton-Choctaw Reservation, Inc.
1146 Clifton Rd.
Clifton, LA 

St. Landry Parish
St. Landry Parish Community Action Agency
1065 Hwy. 749, Suite E
Opelousas, LA

St. Martin Parish
SMILE Community Action Agency
2097 Terrace Rd.
St. Martinville, LA

St. Mary Parish
St. Mary Community Action Committee Assn., Inc.
1407 Barrow St.
Franklin, LA 

St. Tammany Parish
St. Tammany Parish Community Action Agency
2004 First St.
Slidell, LA 
Covington office: 985-893-3923

Vernon Parish
Vernon Community Action Council
1307 S. 5th St.
Leesville, LA 

Washington Parish
Quad Area Community Action Agency
510 E. Third Street
Bogalousa, LA