Entergy Louisiana customers to see $8 increase due to 2021 weather events
METAIRIE, La. (WAFB) - Entergy customers are warned to get ready because their bills are going to be increasing soon.
The utility company is doing this to help pay for storm damage from 2020 and 2021.
Starting this May, customers are going to see an $8 increase on their Entergy bill. The company said it is also going to be using that money to strengthen its grid.
The Louisiana Public Service Commission approved a cost-recovery measure on Wednesday, Feb. 23, that will allow Entergy to increase rates for customers following multiple weather events in 2021.
“It’s ridiculous and unfair, and I’m having to pay that and I feel like they are not doing good things for the people of Louisiana or Baton Rouge or just the Gulf Coast in general,” said Meagan Snedigar.
“I mean, I think it’ll be great but I just don’t think it’ll actually go to that,” said Rory Tedford. “I think the money’s just actually going to the people at the top rather than fixing any of the real problems.”
The cost-recovery increase of rates will allow Entergy to repair and replace its electric infrastructure after Hurricanes Laura, Delta, Zeta, Ida, as well as damage from Winter Storm Uri.
Entergy Louisiana released the following statement about the approval:
On Feb. 23, the Louisiana Public Service Commission approved Entergy Louisiana’s request to finance $3.2 billion in storm costs using low-cost bonds through a process called securitization. Securitization permits the costs to be financed with generally lower-cost capital and is projected to save customers billions over the long-term as compared with other methods of financing.
The costs being financed are related to restoring the electric system after 2020 hurricanes Laura, Delta and Zeta and the February 2021 winter storms (approximately $2.2 billion), with the remainder being related to replenishing reserves for future storms (approximately $290 million) and creating an escrow addressing a portion of restoration costs following Hurricane Ida (approximately $1 billion).
To lessen the impact to customers’ bills, the costs will be collected over an expected 15-year term through a line item appearing on monthly bills, similar to recovery for previous hurricanes like Katrina, Gustav, Ike and Isaac. The monthly bill effect for a 1,000-kWh residential customer is estimated at around $8 a month but could change based on interest rates at the time of issuance of the bonds. It’s also worth noting that while the costs for hurricanes Gustav, Ike and Isaac are still being collected, the charges for hurricanes Katrina and Rita rolled off bills in 2018 and the charges for Gustav and Ike are expected to expire in August. While the new monthly charge could be included on bills as early as May, it’s contingent upon when closing on the financing occurs.
Entergy Louisiana is continuing to advocate for federal disaster relief, and to any extent the company is reimbursed for a portion of storm costs, it will reduce future bill impacts related to Ida. In addition, the company is continuing to seek federal aid to bolster existing grid resiliency plans and, ultimately, accelerate efforts to strengthen and harden the electric system ahead of future storms. Doing so will help us restore power quickly and safely and avoid costly restoration efforts; however, it is a long-term commitment and one that will take time.
Entergy will enact its cost-recovery increase over the course of 15 years.
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