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Entergy New Orleans bills going up

Entergy crews work to restore power after Hurricane Isaac. Entergy crews work to restore power after Hurricane Isaac.

New Orleans, La. -- Entergy New Orleans customers should prepare to pay more on their October bills.

Entergy New Orleans began pushing for the rate hike in May, and the company said it moved forward this week to implement it because negotiations with the City Council had not progressed fast enough.

The company made the electric and gas formula rate plan filings with the city Wednesday. Entergy emphasizes that it was in the works before Hurricane Isaac hit.

Entergy issued a statement to FOX 8 News about the filing:

After four consecutive years of rate decreases, on Wednesday Entergy New Orleans implemented a slight reduction to the existing formula rate plan credit on customer bills as a result of lower revenues due to milder weather and rising utility costs. The small reduction in the credit will increase residential customer bills beginning in October by approximately $1.36 per 1,000 kilowatt hours of usage. In addition, a slight adjustment to gas rates will result in a slight decrease of approximately $0.02 per 50 ccf on residential gas bills. These rate adjustments are being implemented while the company, City Council and Intervenors continue to work toward a final resolution of remaining formula rate plan issues.

But some Entergy New Orleans customers are averse to higher rates.

"No, I'm not ready to pay more. I think the bill is high enough and they should give us some type of rebate for the week or two weeks the lights were out," said Sandra Preston.

She is still smarting over how long it took Entergy to restore power after the storm.

"The lights were out, it was hot, we had to throw everything out of the refrigerator.  The lights were out for a week and a half, then they came back one day, went back out," Preston said.

Preston said she would prefer the utility to focus more on cutting down tree limbs impairing power lines.

"And they probably won't have that problem with the lines going down," Preston said.

Entergy spokesman Philip Allison said the utility is still negotiating with council members on the rate plan issue, and it is possible that the October rate hike could be rebated to customers.

"They don't deserve it because they took too long to fix the problem and they just shouldn't charge people more, it's high enough," said Preston.

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