DEMCO customers seeing higher energy bills

Published: Nov. 15, 2021 at 6:32 PM CST
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BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - Elise Juergens lives with her husband and infant son.

“I don’t think I could use that much electricity if I tried,” Juergens said, adding they are normally conscious about their energy usage.

“We’re very used to being conscious in the summers of making sure we don’t turn it down too cold because we have seen what can happen, I mean you can have a $200-$250 electricity bill if you run your AC as cold as you want to in the summer so we’re always careful but this was on another level,” Juergens said.

Normally her DEMCO energy bill is below $100, but her last bill jumped to just over $500.

The Juergens are not the only ones.

We asked our Facebook followers if they saw changes in their most recent DEMCO bill and more than 800 of you replied.

One person said their bill estimates were wrong for months and said she wanted to pay her bills each month, not get stuck with months of overages all at once.

Another one said the PCA part of their bill was more than the bill itself.

One person said her retail tenants’ bills went from $300 up to $1,500. Another user said her bill has been double the usual amount for the last four months.

A representative from DEMCO said the increases can be blamed on higher fuel costs.

“The cost of fuel to generate power at the wholesale supplier level is high and it has been for about four months now and that cost is a shared expense, DEMCO is a cooperative and so we distribute power and we purchase power and that expense is paid by our members,” Anne Hawes said.

In addition to paying the higher cost of fuel, DEMCO customers may have different bills due to “under” estimates on previous bills.

“Well, every member bill and every member situation is unique sometimes a member will receive an estimated bill and the catch-up bill is higher, sometimes there are fewer days in one billing cycle than another sometimes there a previous amount due from the previous bill that’s added to the current bill,” Hawes said.

The increases leave families wondering how they’re going to pay up.

“I mean I just feel like that’s an insane amount of money to expect people to pay when everyone is kind of struggling right now and trying to get back to some sense of normalcy,” Juergens said.

Hawes said you can call DEMCO to work out a payment plan for your energy bills.

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