June light bills down this year, despite high use

DEIDRE CRUSE, Governmental Reporter

Although unusually high temperatures sent electricity use up in June, City Light & Water customers will pay 60 percent less per kilowatt-hour than they in June 2008, Mayor Mark A. “Tony” Gulotta reported Monday.

The price of natural gas used to fire electrical generation plants have fallen steadily all year, and so has the price the city has to pay the Louisiana Power and Energy Authority (LEPA) for its supplies.

“I wish I could take credit for it,” Gulotta said, noting customers blamed him for soaring rates brought on by high natural gas prices last year, when City Light bills became an issue in his re-election campaign.

The mayor said LEPA billed the city for nearly $670,000 for 11.7 million kilowatts of electricity in June. That is a wholesale price of 5.7 cents per kilowatt, down from 6.9 cents per kw in February.

“It’s lower than I thought it would be,” Gulotta said.

The June numbers will be reflected on the utility bills that will go out on August 1, since the city’s billing runs a month behind actual use.

Compared to last year, it is a bargain. In June ’08, LEPA billed the city for $1.3 million for 10.8 million kilowatts of electricity at a wholesale price of 12.13 cents per kw.