Cleco customers to save $22.3 million annually
PINEVILLE, La. – Effective March 1, 2020, Cleco’s retail customers (residential and non-residential) will save $22.3 million a year on their bills due to the removal of the Hurricanes Katrina and Rita “Storm Restoration Charge.”
“This is good news for our customers,” said Bill Fontenot, president and CEO of Cleco. “Cleco’s residential customers will, on average, pay $3.75 less per month resulting in savings of about $45 over 12 months, which supports our ongoing efforts to lower customers’ bills.”
The cost to repair Cleco’s system and restore power following Hurricanes Katrina and Rita was approximately $160 million, the largest combined storm expense in the company’s history. The company secured low-interest bonds to finance the storm costs, create a storm reserve for future weather events and reduce customers’ costs.
The storm recovery effort for Hurricane Katrina included 3,400 workers and lasted 29 days. Storm recovery for Hurricane Rita included 2,400 workers and lasted 11 days.
“We’ll always remember these back-to-back storms because of the catastrophic damage and resources required to repair our system. Both storms tested our endurance and far exceeded anything we’ve ever experienced,” said Fontenot. “We’re glad these two storms are behind us."