Entergy Louisiana customers will see lower rates as Katrina, Rita bonds paid off

Published on August 03, 2018 by Dave Kovaleski

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Entergy Louisiana customers can expect a drop in their monthly energy bills as the bonds used for storm restoration after hurricanes Katrina and Rita in 2005 are now paid off.

As a result, an Entergy Louisiana residential customer using 1,000 kilowatt-hours per month will see their bill decline by approximately $4.35 starting in August. Further, the average legacy Entergy Louisiana residential customer using 1,000 kilowatt-hours will pay about $2.57 less per month.

After those devastating hurricanes, it cost about $966 million to restore power with roughly $687.7 million spent in the Entergy Louisiana service area and $278.4 million in the Entergy Gulf States Louisiana service area. The companies were combined as Entergy Louisiana in 2015.

It took 42 days to restore power after Hurricane Katrina and three weeks to restore power to all customers in Louisiana and Texas after Rita. The hurricanes damaged some 21,000 poles, 12,600 distribution transformers, and miles of wire in Entergy Louisiana’s service territory. The massive restoration effort required the use of low-interest, long-term bonds provided by the Louisiana Utilities Restoration Corporation to reduce the financial impact on customers. With the bonds now repaid, those charges will no longer appear on customers’ bills.

“Hurricanes Katrina and Rita were catastrophic events. When we realized the extent of restoration costs, it became one of our top priorities to protect our customers so they wouldn’t see a spike in their bills,” Phillip May, president and CEO of Entergy Louisiana, said. “We worked closely with the Louisiana Public Service Commission and other elected officials to put a mechanism in place to secure low-interest bonds that saved our customers hundreds of millions in financing costs.”

Storm restoration charges for hurricanes Gustav, Ike, and Isaac are expected to be repaid in August 2022. Further, the bonds issued in 2014 to finance Isaac restoration costs will be repaid in 2026.

“Despite these storm restoration charges, Entergy Louisiana has been able to keep its rates among the lowest in the state and nation,” May said.

Entergy Louisiana, LLC provides electric service to more than 1 million customers and natural gas service to nearly 93,000 customers in the greater Baton Rouge area. With operations in southern, central and northeastern Louisiana, the company is a subsidiary of Entergy Corporation.