Entergy customers in line for rate relief

Published 5:00 am Thursday, August 7, 2008

Entergy Mississippi officials say the company’s mandatedfuel-cost adjustment will bring immediate aid to customers whoseelectric bills skyrocketed in July and August.

After the Mississippi Public Service Commission ordered EntergyMississippi to lower its fuel-cost adjustment for the Septemberbilling cycle in the wake of a 10 percent natural gas price drop,Entergy officials said the two entities reached an agreement tolower the fuel rate for September by 5 percent. Entergy’s fuel-costadjustment when the cost of natural gas went up earlier in the yearled to a 28 percent increase in an average customer’s power billfrom July through September.

Entergy officials said they are pleased to implement anydecrease in price that they can viably offer.

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“While we have no control over the price of fuel, we saw thedecrease in price as an opportunity to offer some relief tocustomers who have endured a significant increase in their July andAugust bills,” said Haley Fisackerly, Entergy Mississippi presidentand chief executive officer, in a release issued Wednesday.

Entergy has said a dramatic spike in natural gas prices led tothe initial fuel-cost hike. The commission directed the utility tocome up with a new, lower adjustment due to a decrease in naturalgas prices falling in recent days.

The PSC has given the company five working days from the orderbeing issued to recalculate its fuel-cost adjustment. Entergyofficials said based on this adjustment,

typical residential customers using 1,000 kilowatt hours permonth will see a savings of about $7 in their September bills.

Fisackerly said Entergy is hopeful that the relief will continueafter seeing costs shooting skyward over the last severalmonths.

“After watching natural gas prices rise more than 120 percent inthe past year, we are cautiously optimistic about this recent turnof events,” he said.

Entergy Customer Accounts Manager Kenny Goza said feedback fromcustomers locally was quick and positive.

“Based on the feedback I’m hearing already, people are pleasedabout the reduction, and it should help them with their monthlybudgeting,” he said.

Entergy Mississippi officials said they use a diverse fuel mixmade up of 60 percent natural gas to create power. Because theprice of natural gas had gone up, Entergy Mississippi filed for afuel adjustment earlier this year that resulted in the 28 percentincrease in customers’ bills beginning July 1.

Entergy Mississippi, Inc. provides electricity to more than433,000 customers in 45 counties. It is a subsidiary of EntergyCorporation. Entergy delivers electricity to 2.6 million utilitycustomers in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas.