Customer Assistance Programs
Qualify now for the Cleco CARE discount
Cleco now offers a CARE (Cleco Alternative Rate for Electricity) program for low-income customers.
The CARE program provides low income customers with a 25 percent discount on the fuel portion of their bills during July, August and September.
Customers must qualify for the Summer 2013 CARE discount through their local community action agency between October 1, 2012 and May 30, 2013.
Income qualifications for this discount are the same as those required for Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) assistance.
Customers who apply and are accepted for LIHEAP assistance during the three-month CARE signup period will automatically be approved for the CARE discount.
Customers will have to re-qualify each year for the CARE discount.
Click here to access the qualifications.
See list below to find your local agency.
The Power of Sharing Fund
If you would like to help those who struggle to pay their energy bills, Cleco offers the Power of Sharing Fund. This fund, formerly called the Energy Fund, has been in effect since 1985 to assist economically disadvantaged seniors and disabled citizens. Monies collected through the fund are used to assist with energy bills, purchase fans and blankets, weatherize homes, and make minor repairs to heating and cooling units.
Cleco customers and employees contribute to the fund, and Cleco provides matching donations. Assistance provided by the fund is distributed through the Louisiana Association of Councils on Aging. To find out if you or a loved one qualifies for assistance, contact your local Council on Aging. You may choose an option on your bill to contribute $1, $2, or $5 to the Power of Sharing Fund.
Energy Emergency Deferred Billing Program (EEDBP)
If the Louisiana Public Service Commission declares an energy emergency, eligible Cleco customers may defer a portion of their bill. Cleco developed this program under the guidelines of Legislative Act 629 of 2001, and Louisiana Public Service Commission Order No. R-26038. The deferral can be paid over a period of up to 12 months, depending on the amount. The amount deferred would be the amount in excess of a customer's previous year's Cleco bill for the period of time specified in the declared emergency. The example below shows what could be deferred.
$160.00 Current bill
$100.00 Pay now (bill for same month last year)
$60.00 Amount that can be deferred
To be eligible, last year's bill must be at least $20.00 lower than the bill for the specified period of time deemed an emergency. Generally, you would be responsible for paying the amount paid in the same month last year, or $100.00, on the regular due date. The $60.00 would be deferred and paid in installments over some period of time (see below).
Amounts and periods of maximum deferral are:
$20.00 - $75.00 may be deferred over a period of 1-3 months
$75.01 - $150.00 may be deferred over a period of 1-6 months
$150.00 and above may be deferred over a period of 1-12 months
- Those whose income does not exceed 150 percent of the poverty level as established by the federal government
- Those who receive food stamps or Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)
- Those whose sole income consists of Social Security payments
- Vital government entities designated by the LPSC as providers of services essential to public health, safety and welfare
- Persons certified by a physician as needing life-sustaining, electrically operated equipment, or life-sustaining medical treatment that requires electricity.
After eligibility is established, customers may receive a deferment on their most recent bill that is not past due. Each month during the declared emergency, eligible customers will receive a deferment unless the customer withdraws form the program.
Enrollment for the program is done through the community action agencies listed below. Those wishing to enroll in the program should first call their local agency for information regarding the process used at that agency. Customers will need a Cleco bill, along with proof that establishes them as a member of one of the eligible groups when applying. Customers will be asked to fill out some paperwork, and eligibility will be verified by the agency and forwarded to Cleco. Those currently certified as Cleco critical care customers will only need to sign some paperwork to initiate participation in the program. Paperwork for critical care customers can be sent by mail at the customer's request.
Customers will have to re-certify every two years to remain eligible.
Note: Those currently enrolled in Cleco's Levelized Billing Program will receive no benefit from enrolling in the EEDBP as their energy bills are already levelized over a 12-month period.
Still have questions? Check out our Q&A.
Community Action Partnerships (CAP) Agencies
LIHEAP Providers by Parish
- Acadia Parish
SMILE Community Action Agency
11 N. Parkerson Ave.
- Allen Parish
Allen Action Agency, Inc.
505 W. 7th Ave.
- Avoyelles Parish
Avoyelles Progress Action Committee, Inc.
641 Government St.
- Beauregard Parish
Beauregard Community Action Assn, Inc.
104 W. Port St.
- Calcasieu Parish
Calcasieu Parish Office of Community Services
2001 Moeling St.
Lake Charles, LA
- DeQuincy City Hall
300 N. Holly St.
- DeSoto, Red River, Sabine Parishes
DeSoto Parish Office of Community Services
404 Polk St., Suite B
- Evangeline Parish
Evangeline Community Action Agency
403 West Magnolia Street
Ville Platte, LA
- Grant Parish
North CentraLA Community Action Agency
205 Main St.
- Iberia Parish
SMILE Community Action Agency
722 Walton St.
New Iberia, LA
- Natchitoches Parish Office of Community Services
415 Trudeau St.
- Rapides Parish
Cenla Community Action Committee, Inc.
1335 Jackson Street
- Rapides - (Reservation Only)
Clifton-Choctaw Reservation, Inc.
1146 Clifton Rd.
- St. Landry Parish
St. Landry Parish Community Action Agency
1065 Hwy. 749, Suite E
- St. Martin Parish
SMILE Community Action Agency
2097 Terrace Rd.
St. Martinville, LA
- St. Mary Parish
St. Mary Community Action Committee Assn, Inc.
1407 Barrow St.
- St. Tammany Parish
St. Tammany Parish Community Action Agency
2004 First St.
Covington office 985-893-3923
- Vernon Parish
Vernon Community Action Council
1307 S. 5th St.
- Washington Parish
Quad Area Community Action Agency
510 E. Third Street
Credit Extension Agreement
This program provides eligible customers additional time to pay an arrears balance in a non-emergency situation. Cleco reserves the right to deny a credit extension agreement under circumstances in which it feels an agreement would be imprudent.
Levelized Billing Plan
Levelized billing is a payment plan based on a 12-month average of your electric utility bills. Your bill is based on the monthly average of your bills for the previous 12 months.
Each month the average is calculated. This average is always rounded to the next whole dollar amount. An adjustment is made to the average bill amount each month to avoid overpayment or underpayment on your account. The plan is an easy way to balance your electric bills. Instead of fluctuating bills, you can expect to pay about the same bill each month.
To sign up for this service, you must have a zero account balance and be a customer in good standing. Call our 24-hour customer service line at 1-800-622-6537 or visit one of our customer service offices to enroll.
The Gatekeeper Program
Cleco employees are gatekeepers. They watch for signs that indicate an elderly or disable person may be in need of assistance.
Critical Care Alert Program
The Critical Care Alert Program identifies customers with medical conditions where loss of electricity would be detrimental to their well being and health. A critical care customer registration form must be completed and signed by a physician. Call 1-800-622-6537 or visit a local customer service office for a registration form.
Links to State and Federal assistance
Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)
LIHEAP providers in the state
Louisiana Housing Finance Authority
Office of Family Support
Earned Income Tax Credit
Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)
Volunteer Income Tax Assistance/Tax Counseling for the Elderly
The Administration for Children and Families
Louisiana Children's Health Insurance Program (LaCHIP)
Louisiana Department of Social Services