Louisiana utility customers will receive extra time to pay off their high winter power bills from February’s historic winter weather that produced a huge demand for heat. Public Service Commission Chairman Craig Greene says they’ve ordered utility companies to spread their costs out over several months.

“Instead of having one or two big months of a utility bill, they are going to be spread over six to 12 months to make it more palpable for people,” said Greene.

Residents in Texas have received utility bills in the thousands instead of the hundreds, but in Louisiana, the PSC can regulate utility costs.

When temperatures went below freezing in February for an extended period of time, utilities had to purchase more energy to meet customer demand. North Louisiana Public Service Commissioner Foster Campbell says that has led to higher than normal power bills for many customers.

“Some people have a bill of $500, $600, maybe as much as $800. Give them time to pay for it,” said Campbell.

(Story written by Jeff Palermo/Louisiana Radio Network)

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