NEW ORLEANS — Open your Entergy bills lately — you better hang on to your wallet.
“It went from $239 a month to $570 a month,” Entergy Customer Ledonia Jullien said. “It is totally ridiculous.”
“We tried all different kinds of way to lower it down and some way or another, it keeps getting higher and higher,” Entergy customer Mervin Duque said.
“In May, I got it down to $100,” Entergy customer Shontell Fruga said. “Starting back around in June, it was $600, July $500. I’m like, how?”
Nyka Scott from Entergy New Orleans says a combination of things resulted in higher customer bills.
“Temperatures on average were significantly higher than any other summers that we’ve had, so we obviously saw a huge increase in usage," Scott said. "On top of that, we have seen a 200% increase in natural gas prices since April.”
Entergy has committed nearly $4.4 million to the United Way to give customers a onetime $150 credit on their bill.
The program is open to customers with a household income of up to 250 percent of the federal poverty level.
That equates to:
- $33,975 for a household of 1
- $45,775 for a household of 2
- $57,575 for a household of 3
- $69,375 for a household of 4
- $81,175 for a household of 5
- $92,975 for a household of 6
- $104,775 for a household of 7
Qualifying customers will need to have a photo ID, such as a driver's license or passport and one of the following for each income earner in the house that is 18-or-older:
- First page of 2021 tax return(s)
- 2021 W2(s)
- Last paystub(s)
- Social Security Administration 1099 or 1042S form(s)
United Way’s online process will enable customers to upload these required documents to complete their application submission. Applications will be processed and administered through the following United Way partners:
- United Way of Southeast Louisiana (Jefferson, Orleans, Plaquemines, St. Bernard, St. Tammany, Tangipahoa and Washington)
- Capital Area United Way (East Baton Rouge, West Baton Rouge, Livingston, Ascension, St. James, Iberville, Pointe Coupee, West Feliciana, East Feliciana and St. Helena)
- United Way South Louisiana (Assumption, Lafourche, and Terrebonne)
- United Way of Southwest Louisiana (Calcasieu, Cameron, Jefferson Davis, Allen, and Beauregard)
- United Way Central Louisiana (Avoyelles, Concordia, Grant, LaSalle, Winn)
- United Way of Northeast Louisiana (Caldwell, East Carroll, Franklin, Jackson, Lincoln, Madison, Morehouse, Ouachita, Richland, Tensas, Union and West Carroll)
- United Way of Northwest Louisiana (Sabine, Bossier, Red River, Natchitoches, Bienville, Claiborne and Webster)
- United Way of Acadiana (Acadia, Lafayette, St. Martin and Vermilion)
- St. John United Way (St. John)
- United Way of St. Charles (St. Charles)
- St. Landry-Evangeline United Way (St. Landry)
- United Way of Iberia (Iberia)
“We’ve heard that from our customers both at Entergy Louisiana and Entergy New Orleans,” Scott said. “In an effort to help those customers and ease a little bit of the financial strain that they have, all of our operating companies got together and decided we would start basically a high bill impact program.”
Customers say it’s a needed program, but…
“$150 is not nearly enough to help these people out here,” Fruga said.
“Obviously, something helps but I don’t think it’s enough. I wish it would be more,” Duque said.
Qualifying customers in Orleans, Jefferson, St. Bernard, Plaquemines, Tangipahoa, St. Tammany and Washington Parishes can start applying for the bill credit on Aug. 17.
You can apply for the credit at www.unitedwaysela.org or by calling 211.
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