Thanks to an $18 million rate reduction approved by the New Orleans City Council today and a drop in fuel prices, Entergy New Orleans, Inc. customers should see lower bills when their November statements arrive.
A typical Entergy New Orleans customer who uses approximately 1,000 kilowatt hours of electricity per month will see a bill of $99.16 in November. That's a 10.7 percent decrease from October's typical bill, which was $111.08 per 1,000 kWh.
The $18 million reduction in rates marks the third rate decrease for Entergy New Orleans customers in the last three years. The company voluntarily reduced rates by approximately $10.6 million in 2008 and then by $35 million in June of 2009.
Entergy New Orleans is the only utility in the country to lower electric rates in each of the last three years, according to the Edison Electric Institute.
"This reduction in rates is great news for our customers," said Charles Rice, president and chief executive officer of Entergy New Orleans, Inc. "We have worked very closely with the City Council in an effort to better serve our customers and we are happy that our customers will benefit from this process." Rice took over leadership of the $750 million a year electric and gas utility, on June 14, 2010.
Entergy has been in a growth mode with more than 75 percent, or 150,000, of its customers returning home since Hurricane Katrina in 2005, Rice is responsible for the company's financial and operational performance, customer service, regulatory and governmental relations, economic development programs, external and internal communications, charitable contributions and environmental policy. At the core of his operational responsibilities is management of the company's electric and gas distribution systems to customers.
The reduction in rates is due in part to the company's formula rate plan process. Compared to a typical rate case, a formula rate plan calls for an annual review of Entergy New Orleans' financial results by the City Council and its advisors. Rates are then adjusted up or down based on the previous year's financial results.
The regrowth of New Orleans has contributed to the company's strong financial performance since emerging from bankruptcy in 2007. Strong financial results in 2009 due to the increase in population led to this year's rate reduction.
After his first legal private practice position in Louisiana with Jones, Walker, Waechter, Poitevent, Carrere & Denegre, L.L.P, Rice joined Entergy in the legal department in 2000 serving as senior counsel in the Entergy Service, Inc. litigation group and then as manager of labor relations litigation support in human resources.
A reduction in the fuel adjustment charge also played a part in lowering customer bills in November. The November fuel adjustment is 3.21 cents per kilowatt hour, which is a 20.3 percent reduction from October's fuel adjustment of 4.03 cents per kWh. The fuel adjustment charge reflects the price that Entergy New Orleans pays for the fuel used to generate electricity. The charge is passed on directly to customers on a dollar-for-dollar basis with no profit to the company.
Entergy New Orleans, Inc. is an electric and gas utility serving Orleans Parish and is a subsidiary of Entergy Corporation. The company provides electricity to more than 150,000 customers and natural gas to more than 96,000 customers in Orleans Parish.
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"Light It Up" image provided courtesy of Entergy New Orleans "Light It Up" campaign. Photo of Charles Rice courtesy of Entergy New Orleans.
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