Efforts by Paragould Light, Water and Cable (PLWC) to recoup the costs of February’s record cold weather are beginning to show results.

As revealed at a recent meeting of the PLWC board of commissioners, the utility has recovered $147,000 of the $5.7 million in extra costs to buy electrical power during the period Feb. 12-19.

Utility Chief Financial Officer Janet Chronister told the board the storm power cost adjustment (PCA) it had implemented at the February board meeting is now being billed to customers across all billing cycles.

“The due date for those bills was in April,” she said, “so we have been collecting that now.”

Chronister told the board the transfer of the $147,000 collected thus far from working capital to reserves should take place in May.

“We’ll do that each month,” she said. “Whatever it looks like we are [recovering through the storm PCA], we’ll transfer over to reserves.”

The storm PCA, as finalized at the March 17 meeting, comes out to about 1/2-cent per kilowatt-hour of electricity used, such that a household that uses 2,000 KwH per month should expect an increase of about $10 per month. It therefore will produce revenue that will vary directly in accordance with electrical usage throughout the city each month.

“It can go up or it can go down,” Chronister said, “depending on kilowatt hours.”

Nonetheless, the storm PCA is expected to rebuild the utility’s cash reserve total back to $10 million by the time it expires in April 2024.

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