Entergy customers to see rate reduction

Published 12:00 am Saturday, March 28, 2009

Entergy customers in three states will see a break this summer and fall in rising electricity bills.

Entergy Mississippi, Entergy Louisiana, Entergy Gulf States Louisiana and Entergy Texas will cut power use rates for the third straight year, likely between June and December. The rate cuts relate to charges for actual usage, not the fuel adjustment charge that rose dramatically last summer for Mississippi customers.

This year’s cuts will come at the expense of the company’s Arkansas customers. In a decision by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission in 2005 dealing with New Orleans-based Entergy’s system agreement between its regulated power units in the four states, FERC ruled that Entergy Arkansas customers did not pay a fair share of the cost of generating power.

Email newsletter signup

Sign up for The Vicksburg Post's free newsletters

Check which newsletters you would like to receive
  • Vicksburg News: Sent daily at 5 am
  • Vicksburg Sports: Sent daily at 10 am
  • Vicksburg Living: Sent on 15th of each month

Preliminary estimates have Entergy Mississippi’s 433,000 customers receiving about $23 million in reductions. Actual savings per customer will be determined by FERC in either May or June and will cover bills issued through December, spokesman Mara Hartmann said, adding early indications are that customers will receive credits that will rise along with usage.

“We do have different rate structures for commercial, small business and residential customers,” Hartmann said.

Entergy Mississippi’s 45-county service area covers the western half of the state, including Vicksburg and Warren County. Entergy Louisiana and Entergy Gulf States Louisiana’s customer base of about 1 million, covering 58 of the state’s 64 parishes, is set to receive about $223 million in savings. Entergy Texas’ 395,000 customers in the state’s southeast corner are in line for $148 million.

In Arkansas, Entergy Arkansas’ 687,000 customers are facing $394 million in higher rates, based on an annual review of the previous year’s production costs.

Traditionally, summer has been a time when power bills surge because of peak demand. A large part of it is due to the natural gas-fired facilities such as Baxter Wilson in Vicksburg being used to supplement the utility’s base load generating stations like Grand Gulf. However, natural gas prices are lower heading into this summer compared to last year’s peak.

Entergy New Orleans’ 141,000 customers will not benefit from the FERC decision because that division was covered by an earlier settlement. However, a plan approved by the New Orleans City Council this week will lower rates by about 4 percent, or $3.82 for each 1,000 kilowatt hours of usage.


Contact Danny Barrett Jr. at dbarrett@vicksburgpost.com