New Orleans council calls on Entergy to suspend shutoffs for nonpayment of ‘alarmingly high’ bills

Published: Jul. 25, 2022 at 11:17 AM CDT
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NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - The New Orleans City Council has called on Entergy to stop shutting off power to homes until Nov. 1.

The move comes as sky-high electric bills have strangled the wallets of many Louisiana customers.

“The New Orleans City Council is incredibly concerned about the alarmingly high power bills being received by your customers,” JP Morrell and Helena Moreno wrote in a letter to Entergy New Orleans’ CEO Deana Rodriguez on Monday. “We understand that high bills are a result of extreme temperatures, elevated fuel prices, plus the shutoff and unreliability of the Grand Gulf Nuclear plant. This has resulted in power costs passed on to Entergy customers hitting unaffordable levels. This is not sustainable.”

The council will consider a resolution to enact the moratorium on Tues., July 26.

“We urge you to be in attendance with your team,” JP Morrell and Helena Moreno wrote in a letter on Monday.

The New Orleans City Council has called on Entergy to stop shutting off power to homes until...
The New Orleans City Council has called on Entergy to stop shutting off power to homes until Nov. 1.(WVUE)

“With this moratorium on shutoffs, hopefully, the corporation as a whole will determine the best approach to drive down bills and help customers because costs at this level are simply unaffordable,” said Council President Moreno. “I urge the Louisiana Public Service Commission to place the same moratorium. It isn’t just the people of New Orleans who are frustrated and worried about their soaring power bills; it’s throughout our region.”

“Temperatures are rising to historic highs, and so are utility bills,” said Council Vice President Morrell. “The current trend of bill prices is unsustainable, and no one should go through a New Orleans summer without power. As chair of the Utility Committee, I am calling for a moratorium on power shutoffs until November 1 to protect the health and well-being of our most vulnerable residents and ratepayers during these challenging times.”

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Earlier this month, New Orleans utility customers pleaded for help dealing with electric bills they say have increased dramatically this summer.

“I keep my blinds closed,” said Entergy customer Denise Bickham, who complained she lives on a fixed income but that there’s nothing fixed about her utility bill. “I want to be dark and cool in my house. But $400 for an electric bill on a small 1,300-square foot house?”

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