Entergy customers could see rates rise

Published 12:03 am Tuesday, September 6, 2016

NATCHEZ — After two cuts in rates this year, Entergy customers could soon see a bump in their electric bills.

Natchez Entergy Customer Service Manager Tim Runnels said Entergy Mississippi has cut its residential rates twice this year, giving the average residential customer using 1,000 kilowatt hours per month a 16-percent reduction from what was paid in 2015.

In February, the typical residential customer using 1,000 kilowatt hours per month began paying $6.60 less, or just more than $93.

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“That put Entergy’s rate at more than 22 percent below the national average,” Runnels said.

In April, mostly because of continued low natural gas prices, Entergy customers saw rates temporarily drop by $10.88. That decrease brought the typical residential customer bill down to $82, Runnels said.

The temporary decrease that began in April is expected to last through early fall, Runnels said.

“We don’t expect any further interim adjustments to the fuel rate next year, so the current forecast for 2017 is a 13-percent increase over what was paid in 2016. However, that will still keep rates about 3 percent less than where they were in 2015, and they’ll remain well below the national average.”

Electric rates rise and fall year-to-year based on many factors, Runnels said.

“Other reasons for our current low rates are the company’s purchase of more highly efficient, low-cost natural gas power plants and an upgrade at Grand Gulf Nuclear Station (in Port Gibson) to get 13 percent more low-cost nuclear power from the same plant,” Runnels said. “We’ve also pooled with other utilities to get more efficiently dispatched power from multiple sources around the country in a competitive market, and we’ve streamlined the company to make operations more cost-efficient for the long term.”

Customers’ bills are a combination of rates and usage, Runnels said, and customers can find tips on how to lower their bills at Entergy’s Save Me Money page on entergy.com.