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Will electric bills be stabilized in Welsh?

If you own or rent property in Welsh, there's a chance your electric bill may decrease.
Money wallet AP
Posted at 11:41 PM, Jul 08, 2024

Keeping up with the cost of an electric bill during the summer can be a challenge.

While more renters and homeowners are running their air conditioners this time of year to stay cool, paying for it can be expensive.

That's why city officials are considering an electric stabilization program, a resource that can help provide balance and consistency when it comes to paying for utilities, year-round.

Kevin Bihm, General Manager for Louisiana Energy and Power Authority said the strategy is simple.

Data is collected and assessed, based off of average electric expenses for residential and commercial properties across Welsh.

"[The way the program works is], we base it on what we have budgeted for Welsh’s electricity rate for the whole year," Bihm said. "We then use that figure as a baseline...We get a plus five percent and a minus five percent, which gives us a 10 percent bandwidth...As long as a resident's rate is within that bandwidth, they get charged that amount for their electric bill for that month."

While some Welsh residents have extremely low or extremely high electric bills, Bihm said there's a solution for them too.

"If they get charged at the bottom of that bandwidth, then whatever extra funds we collect, goes into a fund," Bihm said. "[Those funds will then] stay there until their rate gets higher than the bandwidth, and then those funds are applied to bring their rates down."

Welsh residents like 78-year-old James Wright could benefit from an electric stabilization program like this.

Wright has been living in a historic condo in Welsh since the early 2000s. He said he understands how rising electric bills can take a toll on people, especially during peak seasons.

"My utility bill is probably up about 20 percent last month from the previous month," Wright said. "Now before that, there wasn’t much difference."

Wright also said he cooks his meals daily on an electric stove, and does his best to preserve usage.

However, he said his electric bill increases every year.

"Last month it was about 220 dollars for all of my utilities," Wright said. "Now, that counts for garbage, sewage and everything else... I honestly can't remember what part of that bill was for electricity, but I Imagine it was around 150 to 160 dollars."

While the proposed electric stabilization program is still under review for Welsh, the next city council meeting is scheduled for Aug., 6.