Entergy Louisiana users to cover $3.2M in hurricane costs
BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — State regulators have approved a plan in which Entergy Louisiana customers will pay for $3.2 billion in costs the utility incurred because of five storms that hit the state in 2020 and 2021.
The Daily Advertiser reports that the Louisiana Public Service Commission voted 4-1 for the plan.
The money will be collected over 15 years. The utility estimates it will add about $8 to the monthly bill for a 1,000-kilowatt residential customer; however, that could be affected if interest rates change by the time bond financing for the storm cost plan is completed.
Entergy will return to the commission later this year to ask for another $1.4 billion in reimbursements from ratepayers to complete its expense recovery from Hurricane Ida, The Daily Advertiser reported.
Commissioner Foster Campbell of Elm Grove, a Democrat who represents north Louisiana on the commission, cast the only no vote. He said people who live outside areas affected by the hurricanes should pay less. He also expressed frustration that the company is entitled by law to recover all of its expenses from its customers, complaining that Entergy Corp. CEO Leo Denault earned $16 million in total annual compensation in 2020 and that the company paid out $1.5 billion in dividends during the past two years while ratepayers are covering recovery costs.
Other commissioners argued Entergy Louisiana’s low-interest financing plan will save ratepayers money over the long haul. And they agreed that all of the utility’s customers should share in the costs.
“We are one state of citizens,” said Commissioner Eric Skrmetta, a Republican from Metairie.