Louisiana Public Service approves 1803 Cooperative agreement
Commissioners say it will usher in competition, lower rates for state
BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - The Louisiana Public Service Commission approved a plan that commissioners say will increase competition among energy providers and usher in lower rates across the state.
The commissioners approved a group of five energy cooperatives, known as the 1803 Agreement, that were up to have their contract with the state renewed this year. Instead of keeping its same portfolio of energy resources, it proposed diversifying to what it called a more reliable, cheaper source of energy. The new portfolio consists of energy sources such as solar, hydrogen, and natural gas from a newly built $740 million energy plant in Iberville Parish.
“I think we’re going to get better, we’re going to get more sustainable, and we’re going to get cheaper,” said Dr. Craig Greene, the PSC’s chairman.
None of the 1803 Cooperatives’ 120,000 customers are located near Baton Rouge. Customers are largely centered east of Hammond, near Morgan City and Lake Charles, and in northeast Louisiana, but commissioners say the agreement sets a precedent for future co-op agreements.
“This is what it’s going to bring to Louisiana is competition, discussion, and once people realize your neighbor is getting electricity a lot cheaper, business picks up,” said Commissioner Foster Campbell.
A spokesperson for DEMCO said the agreement was a positive, adding it paves the way for future agreements that would lower costs to ratepayers. DEMCO has a similar plan that is currently working its way through the Public Service Commission and will be up for a vote at the end of the year.
CLECO and Entergy Louisiana opposed this agreement, saying the portfolio of energy resources is unreliable and, if it fails, will pass expensive costs onto customers.
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