Electricity customers with Cleco Power LLC are expected to see their utility bills drop by the end of the year.

That's when the company's Rodemacher 3 power plant goes on line, a petroleum coke-fired generator in central Louisiana that will offer a cheaper form of power to customers.

State utility regulators on Wednesday agreed to a rate increase to cover the costs of building the $1 billion solid fuel unit, which is expected to be operational by year's end. The Public Service Commission unanimously approved the rate hike.

But the rate increase is expected to be more than offset by Cleco getting a cheaper fuel source to generate power, leaving customers with a net decrease in their utility bills.