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Entergy bills to fall 20%

[9/25/01]After surging upward in the spring, Entergy Mississippi bills are dropping in the fall with residential customers seeing a decrease of about 20 percent.

Cheryl Comans, customer service manager for Vicksburg, says Entergy is passing through lower fuel costs now, having passed through higher fuel costs earlier.

“This means the average residential bill will decrease from about $96 for every thousand kilowatt-hours used to about $77,” she said.

Comans said Entergy, regulated by the Mississippi Public Service Commission, does not make or lose money on fuel purchases since it passes the costs on to customers in fuel adjustments shown on bills.

The base rates are set by the PSC and do not change without a process that includes extensive public hearings. The base rates also include Entergy’s profit margin. The fuel cost factor is different.

“When our fuel costs go down, we pass the savings on to the customer,” Comans said.

Entergy Mississippi re-duced its non-fuel components by 22 percent from 1995 to 2000 under the formula rate plan approved by the PSC. Beginning in 2000, the price of fuels went up, resulting in customers having to pay more for electricity. The company acted to mitigate the increases by this year switching from natural gas to less expensive fuels at plants that could meet air quality standards. That action saved customers more than $100 million.