Entergy rates to increase in 2013
by Rory Doyle
Dec 27, 2012 | 2733 views | 0 0 comments | 6 6 recommendations | email to a friend | print
After a long period of declining or steady rates, Entergy Mississippi customers will see a rate increase of about 5 percent in early 2013.

The typical residential customer using 1,000 kWh will pay $95.63 in January and $99.71 in February.

For comparison, in February 2012, the typical customer paid $95.08 per 1,000 kWh of electricity.

Cheryl Comans, customer service manager for Cleveland Entergy, said the company continues to put affordability at the forefront.

"We work really hard to keep rates stable and as low as possible," said Comans. "Our rates will still remain among the lowest in the state, region and the country.

"Despite the increase, our residential rates will remain about 16 percent below the current average rate in the U.S."

Factors affecting the rate include a significant rise in natural gas costs of about 33 percent since Entergy Mississippi’s last fuel filing in August.

Comans said Entergy’s fuel costs are passed through to the customer, dollar-for-dollar, with no profit.

Also, Hurricane Isaac hit Mississippi in August causing widespread outages and damage to Entergy’s infrastructure.

Isaac was the fourth worst storm to hit the Entergy system and restoration cost about $30 million.

While Entergy maintains a storm reserve, that reserve has had a negative balance since September 2008.

Finally, in the past few months Entergy Mississippi has bought the Hinds Energy plant and has purchased additional output of the Grand Gulf Nuclear Station from Entergy Arkansas, Inc., both of which will produce hundreds of millions of dollars in fuel savings for customers over the life of these generating units.

A statement from Entergy Mississippi cites a Mississippi Public Utilities Staff consultant who estimated $53 million in annual fuel savings from the Hinds plant alone.

It will take two to three years before the fuel savings of Hinds exceed the ownership costs.

“The purchase of a modern new power plant and an increase in our share of Grand Gulf’s output will bring long-term savings to help offset fluctuations that are beyond our control, such as storms and fuel prices on the world market,” said Haley Fisackerly, Entergy Mississippi president and CEO.

“In addition, our recently-approved move to the Midwest Independent Transmission System Operator, or MISO, which will take place by this time next year is estimated to save our customers up to $284 million over the next decade,” added Fisackerly.

While Entergy Mississippi works to keep electricity costs low, customers can do the same by being more energy-efficient.

“With the weather getting colder this time of the year, heating becomes a majority of usage," said Comans. "When it comes to saving on your bill, we recommend keeping your heaters around 68 degrees."

Customers can also visit www.entergy-mississippi.com to learn about energy saving tips and tools.

Entergy Mississippi, Inc. provides electricity to more than 437,000 customers in 45 counties and is a subsidiary of Entergy Corporation.