Copeland elected to new position

Published 9:17 am Saturday, January 20, 2007

Mayor Hyram Copeland was elected as Louisiana Energy and Power Authority’s new chairmen of the board of directors Friday.

According to the Web site, LEPA was created by the State Legislature in 1979 and consists of 18 Louisiana cities and towns, each maintaining its own independent municipal power system.

Vidalia and Jonesville are members of LEPA.

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Copeland said the term for chairman is one year.

“It’s a tremendous honor to represent the member cities,” Copeland said. “My sole purpose during this next year that I’m in office is to get these (utility) rates down.”

Copeland said the board is currently looking into short-term and long-term contracts with energy providers to lower member-cities’ utility rates.

Short-term rates last two years, and long-term rates last five to 20 years, he said.

As chairman, Copeland said he travels to Lafayette once a month to work with LEPA’s staff and work with the daily operations of LEPA, like “shopping for better electric rates and buying energy on an open market.”

“Periodically, I will go to Washington (D.C.) and Baton Rouge to talk to state legislators and congressmen about pending legislation that may affect our energy,” he said.