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$ 24 Entergy New Orleans Rate Increase Temporarily Reduced to $ 10 Per Month | Local politics

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A planned Entergy New Orleans rate increase of $ 24 per month would be temporarily reduced to about $ 10 under a new agreement between the power company and city council.

Council members hope to reduce it further by using $ 5 million in federal pandemic stimulus money.

The reduced effect of the rate hike, which is expected to take effect next week, marks a slight pullback for the board. Some members had pledged in the aftermath of Hurricane Ida, as residents lashed out at the utility for the persistent power outages, to delay the new tariffs indefinitely.

Thousands of New Orleans residents could see a $ 24 increase on their monthly electric bills under a proposal according to Entergy New Orleans is needed t…

But board member Helena Moreno, who chairs the utilities committee, said on Wednesday that such a move could have led to a trial of Entergy, so the board focused instead on the delay in the effect of the new tariffs.

“While I wish I could have delayed a bit longer, this was really not the responsible route to prevent rate increases for our customers,” said Moreno.

The latest plan includes several elements that together could keep electricity rates at or below their current levels until March.

A set of measures aimed at investigating the decisions of Entergy New Orleans before and during Hurricane Ida, and possibly aimed at studying…

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First, the rates offered by Entergy in July would be reduced due to errors the council’s utility advisers found in the costs reported by the company. The effect is to reduce the proposed increase from $ 64 million to around $ 49.5 million, Entergy said, who added that she will not challenge the adjustment.

In addition, the board ordered Entergy to use approximately $ 17.4 million, from a variety of settlement funds granted to Entergy by federal regulators in recent years, to offset its proposed rate increases to ‘electricity. In total, that would represent about $ 9.15 in credit per invoice for the next five months, Entergy said. The proposed increase in electricity rates has been estimated at $ 8.43 for customers on the east shore and $ 8.17 in Algiers.

Moreno said the measures amounted to cutting rates “as low as possible” while saving time for the council “to find even more mitigation measures.”

This leaves an increase of about $ 10 for Entergy’s natural gas customers. Customer advocates, including affordable housing groups, had also pushed city council to stop the increases.

New Orleans is set to receive $ 388 million in coronavirus stimulus money. To soften the increase in gas prices, the council plans to put $ 5 million in a fund that would help customers pay their bills. The exact details of that plan, which is expected to be subject to council approval and mayor LaToya Cantrell’s veto, are still being worked out.

Logan Burke, executive director of the Alliance for Affordable Energy, said the package is a positive step. But she warned that a volatile international natural gas market could still leave residents vulnerable to higher bills, and she pushed New Orleans to phase out its use of natural gas, a fossil fuel that, when it is burnt, is accused of making the world hotter. , higher seas and more intense storms.

“What is clear is that New Orleans needs to reduce its dependence on natural gas,” Burke said.

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