SOURCE: Cleco Corp.

September 12, 2007 16:35 ET

Regulators Approve Storm Cost Recovery Plan for Cleco

Securitized Storm Cost Financing to Lower Customer Costs

PINEVILLE, LA--(Marketwire - September 12, 2007) - The Louisiana Public Service Commission (LPSC) today approved a plan that allows Cleco Power LLC, the vertically integrated electric utility subsidiary of Cleco Corp. (NYSE: CNL), to recover $159 million in storm costs associated with restoration of service in the aftermath of hurricanes Katrina and Rita.

The plan authorizes the issuance of securitized bonds to finance restoration costs from the 2005 hurricanes. The plan also authorizes the creation of a $50 million storm reserve to economically fund repair costs from future storms. The collection of a special storm recovery charge from Cleco Power's customers will securitize up to $190 million in bonds. Because of the financing structure, the current interim storm surcharge being paid by customers will be reduced by approximately $3 per average monthly residential bill.

In February 2006, the LPSC approved an interim storm recovery plan that permitted Cleco Power to collect an interim storm surcharge to offset storm costs associated with Katrina and Rita, which gave the company time to pursue federal funds and create the legal structure necessary for the securitized financing. Cleco Power has collected more than $20 million of storm surcharges from customers through the interim plan.

"This has been a two-year process to create this financing framework, but our efforts have enabled us to keep our commitment to lower storm recovery costs for our customers," said Michael Madison, Cleco president and CEO. "Absent federal assistance, this is the best option for our customers."

Cleco Corp. is a regional energy company headquartered in Pineville, La. It operates a regulated electric utility company that serves 268,000 customers across Louisiana. Cleco also operates a wholesale energy business with approximately 1,350 megawatts of generating capacity. For more information about Cleco, visit www.cleco.com.

Contact Information

  • Investor Contacts:
    Cleco Corporation:
    Ryan Gunter
    (318) 484-7724

    Shareholder Services:
    Rodney Hamilton
    (318) 484-7593

    Analyst Inquiries:
    Dresner Companies
    Philip Kranz
    (312) 780-7240

    Media Contact:
    Cleco Corporation
    Robbyn Cooper
    (318) 484-7136