Entergy Says Higher Storm Restoration Fees Have Nothing To Do With Recent Cold Snap
Many Entergy Louisiana customers have suffered sticker shock after seeing their most recent bill, following the extreme cold snap in late December and January.
For many, the normal storm restoration fee went up. But the fee has nothing to do with the recent cold weather as Customer Service Director Sheila Pounders explains.
"The more kilowatt hours you use, the higher that storm restoration fee will cost will be. So as customers are seeing increase usage, they're paying a little more on the storm recovery cost fee."
Pounders says Entergy does have a rainy day fund, but when a catastrophe hits, it is spent quickly for the replacement of power lines and poles. She says the Public Service Commission approved a rate increase to recover those funds and customers are still paying for damage done by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.
"When you're hit with catastrophic hurricanes, our storm funds are depleted pretty quickly. So you have to find a recovery mechanism to recover from that."
Entergy says they are working with customers to set up payment arrangements if they are having problems paying for their last bill. Pounders says their levelized billing program is the one way for a customer to pay their utility bill easier.
"We are allowing customers to get on those plans and to include their current bill in there. It's a program quite a few customers like."