Questions about Bill

What are these charges listed on my bill?

Your BECi bill is broken down into these four components:

  • Energy Cost and Monthly Service Charge
    • The smallest portion of the cost of providing power and the only portion that can be directly influenced by BECi. Costs include building and maintaining power lines, power restoration, communications, billing, customer service, metering, administration, employees, and other business related items.
    • BECi has not had a full rate change since June 2008.
  • Power Cost Adjustment
    • A charge from our power supplier for providing electricity and is a direct flow-through to our members.
    • The rate is based on fluctuating prices of fuels, primarily coal and natural gas, to generate power each month.
    • This charge is based on a long-term contract between BECi and CLECO Cajun, which expires in 2025. BECi has worked diligently to secure a new power provider (see managers column in March 2022 Louisiana Country regarding our new contract to begin 2025 that will reduce the overall cost of your electric bill).
  • Environmental Charge
    • A charged billed to the cooperative from our power supplier and is also a direct flow-through to our members.
    • Charges reflect the cost of updating, upgrading and retrofitting the electric generating facilities of our wholesale power supplier to comply with new emissions mandated by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
  • Formula Rate Plan (FRP)
    • BECi has not had a full rate increase since 2008. To pass a rate increase, many months (average of 18-20 months) and much cost is involved by conducting internal studies related to a rate increase. To alleviate this passage of time and expense, the LPSC approved the FRP on an annual basis beginning in October 2013.
    • This charge is added on a much smaller scale than an energy rate increase to enable BECi to meet its operation expenses while also meeting other financial requirements of its creditors.
    • The FRP rate is the same percentage as it was nine years ago.
Will I have to pay more in the future on my electric bill for the hurricanes?

Beauregard Electric borrowed 96.4 million dollars to make repairs from Hurricanes Laura and Delta and has paid nearly 2 million dollars in interest, which is not reimbursable by FEMA. Because of the nearly 2 million dollars BECi is paying on interest, the electric cooperative is in the process of applying for a storm rider. Although we do not know the final amount, we anticipate the effect on your bill to be less than $5.

I think there is an issue with my “smart meter”. How do I have it looked at?

BECi’s new meter system has significantly improved the accuracy and timeliness of meter reading and billing and has significantly reduced the number of estimated bills per month. If your meter is not working correctly, it will stop and send a message to our dispatch center. We will then dispatch a technician or lineman to install a new meter. In cases where a member was seeing erratic or a large jump in kWh, the issue has been on the members’ side.

How does the weather affect my electricity bill?

Most of your electricity bill accounts for heating and cooling costs. In the winter, it takes your heating unit more energy to warm a house than it does to cool it. Remember, changing your thermostat only one degree can cost up to three to five percent in electricity usage. December in Louisiana was milder than normal. However, in January 2022 the average temperature was 50 degrees – significantly colder than normal. This will cause an increase to your electric bill. If you use gas or propane to heat your home, you will see an increase in that bill.

My electricity has gone up and I’ve done nothing different. What is the issue?

If there have been no significant jumps in temperature or weather, you may have a malfunction in your home. Large appliances, hot water heaters, a/c and heating units can leak, break or malfunction and use more electricity than normal. Unfortunately, some of these problems are not noticed until the member receives a higher than average electricity bill.  We encourage members to inspect their home or have a certified electrician have a look.

How can I find out how much electricity I am using?

Members can sign in to their account at beci.org and view their usage on a daily or monthly chart. You can also track your usage by reading your meter and comparing it to the daily reads you see on your usage graph. BECi metering system “reads” meters every night at midnight.