Algiers Electric Bills due to rise by 31 Percent

Algiers electric bills due to rise by 31 percent over four years


June 26, 2014

Monthly electric bills for Algiers residents will climb by 31 percent over the next four years, according to a resolution approved Wednesday by the City Council’s Utility Committee endorsing an agreement reached in principle between the council’s utility advisers and Entergy Louisiana President and CEO Phillip May.

The agreement also directs Entergy Louisiana to seek approval to transfer its Algiers electric service to Entergy New Orleans.

Entergy Louisiana serves about 22,000 residential, commercial and industrial customers in Algiers. The rest of the city receives electric service from Entergy New Orleans. Both companies are subsidiaries of Entergy Corp. Inc.

Entergy Louisiana submitted a new rate plan for Algiers residents more than a year ago. The company initially sought to raise rates by a total of $12.9 million, a 42 percent increase. The parties settled on a $9.3 million increase, phased in over four years.

The AARP and the Alliance for Affordable Energy also participated in the discussions and signed off on the agreement in principle.

Before it can take effect, the increase must be approved by the full council and the Louisiana Public Service Commission.

Rates were last changed in Algiers in November 2000. Entergy officials said the increase is needed in part to cover costs associated with restoring the company’s system following several hurricanes, including Katrina, that occurred after 2000.

Under the plan submitted to the council, the monthly bill of a typical customer using 1,000 kilowatt hours of electricity would rise by $7.77 in the first year, $5.69 in year two, $5.67 in year three and $5.26 in year four, according to figures released by the utility.

The average Algiers customer using 1,000 kilowatt hours of electricity now has a monthly Entergy bill of $79.23, an Entergy Louisiana spokeswoman said. That monthly bill would rise to $103.62 at the end of the four years.

Entergy Louisiana also plans to seek approval from the council and the Public Service Commission to transfer its Algiers electric service to Entergy New Orleans. A spokeswoman said no timeline has been established for making that request.

In other matters, the Utility Committee voted to use a $15.3 million refund to Entergy New Orleans to extend the Energy Smart and NOLA Wise programs through the end of 2014 and to fund other, as yet unidentified “energy efficiency, conservation and renewable energy programs.”

The established programs will receive $2.2 million, with the balance going into an interest-bearing account until specific programs and uses are identified.