NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - The City Council received a letter today from Entergy New Orleans, withdrawing its request for a proposed rate increase that would have raised electric bills for everyone in Orleans Parish. This withdrawal came after some council members expressed serious concerns with the filing they received last week which included a double digit-rate hike for Algiers residents. In addition to that rate hike, Entergy had also requested a higher return on investments which according to City Council Chair Helena Moreno's office would would have meant higher rates for all customers.
Moreno says, "I am pleased with Entergy New Orleans' decision to withdraw their rate case submission to the Council. As I said from the outset, this filing represented an unacceptable rate shock for Algiers customers; an excessive return on equity benefiting Entergy shareholders at the expense of New Orleans' ratepayers; and an inequitable allocation of expenses on the backs of all New Orleans' customers. ENO's actions over the past year - including scandals involving astroturfing at public meetings, significant distribution reliability issues, and foot-dragging over bringing promised renewable generation into their portfolio - have profoundly eroded public trust. The rate case submission was simply a bridge too far.
"I am pleased with Entergy's announcement this morning to withdraw its rate case," said Councilmember Palmer. "The original proposal, which included a 21 percent price hike for Algiers customers and 10.75 percent Return on Equity, was an unacceptable affront to our residents. For too long we have allowed higher rates without receiving better service, and I am happy that Entergy has finally realized this."
In a statement released today, Entergy New Orleans said, "We are committed to developing a comprehensive blueprint for New Orleans electric and gas
customers that provides affordable, safe and reliable service and makes sense for all parts of the city," Rod West, group president utility operations of Entergy added that "the council and its advisors were thoughtful and concise in their feedback, and we plan to put forth a new and better plan that is responsive to their comments."
Entergy's letter stated the utility company would present another proposal in September. Councilmember Palmer will continue to be vigilant to ensure that Algiers residents receive a fair and equitable utility rate.
"Algiers deserves better. I've heard this message consistently, whether I was knocking on doors while campaigning or listening to constituents at neighborhood meetings. I was elected to bring that message to the City Council, and I will continue to be a voice for the equitable treatment of Algiers residents. I would like to thank my fellow Councilmembers for standing together on this, and expect that any subsequent filings will reflect Entergy's new understanding of what proposed changes, if any, would be acceptable," said Councilmember Palmer.