Entergy plans to cut rates

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, November 26, 2008

NATCHEZ — On Tuesday, Entergy made an announcement that will likely be good news for many of its customers across Mississippi.

By the start of the New Year Entergy’s customers in Mississippi could be paying 14 percent less for their electricity.

Entergy’s Customer Service Manager Stephen Caruthers said the drop in rates is made possible because the price of natural gas has been declining.

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And since approximately 60 percent of Entergy’s facilities generate electricity from natural gas, the savings can be passed to the consumers, Caruthers said.

“Your typical light bill is going to drop,” Caruthers said.

Estimates from Entergy show a household using 1,000-kilowatt hours in a month would pay approximately $89.

In August that same usage would have come at a cost of $133.

“That’s $40 (approximately) they can spend on something else,” Caruthers said.

However, the adjustment has not been finalized yet.

Caruthers said the Mississippi Public Service Commission will decide if Entergy will be allowed to lower their rates sometime after Thanksgiving.

But Caruthers and other Entergy representatives said they don’t see any reason the PSC would not allow the adjustment.

Once the adjustment is made, it will not be revaluated again until March 2009.

Caruthers said depending on the price of natural gas, at that time rates will either increase, decrease or remain the same.

Caruthers said it’s difficult to know what the market for natural gas will be like in March.

Natural gas, while less expensive now than earlier this year, is still more expensive than it was at this time last year, Caruthers said.