Monday night Kenner residents showed WWL-TV their recent Entergy bills, some seeing a 300 percent increase. Entergy said the cases were isolated, but Tuesday residents across the metro area reached out after experiencing similar issues.
Thomas Gray owns A1 Architectural Millwork LLC in Meraux. But he says if he continues to get inaccurate bills from Entergy Louisiana, he won't be able to keep his shop open.
"I can't afford $1,500 to $2,000 a month in electricity," Gray said.
Like the six families WWL-TV spoke to Monday night in Kenner, Gray recently received an Entergy bill he couldn't explain.
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"All the sudden from May to June we jump up to $1,033 in one month," Gray pointed out from his bill.
Entergy Louisiana couldn't explain it to him either, but insisted he had to pay it. The company even sent crews out to his shop to cut off his electricity, forcing Gray to pay off $900 dollars of his nearly $2,000 bill.
"I paid all but 500, they show up the next day still wanting to shut it off and I said man can you give me a day or two?" Gray said.
Over in Harvey, Karnesha Shelby is facing the same dilemma- pay a bill she believes is incorrect, or lose power.
"I just feel like if I don't pay the $ 600 I'm not gonna have lights come Thursday, like we're gonna be sitting in the dark," Shelby said.
Shelby's bill has consistently been around $100 until suddenly this month it wasn't. When she reached out to Entergy, she got the same response dozens of other impacted families received.
"They were like 'no you need to pay it, it has to be paid, it has to be paid, it has to be paid,'" Shelby said.
An Entergy spokesperson sent WWL-TV the following statement:
"Entergy will personally contact each of the customers who sent complaints to WWL-TV so that we can resolve their billing issues. We will put a hold on their accounts while we work to ensure they are charged only for the energy they used. We will make payment arrangements as needed."
Eric Skrmetta, Chairman of the Louisiana Public Service Commission, also reached out to Entergy Louisiana, demanding the company address the issues. He sent WWL-TV the following statement:
"On learning of the situation regarding excessive billing of certain Entergy ratepayers in the city of Kenner, I immediately contacted Entergy leadership and told them that it was obvious that a serious error had occurred in either the calculation, or meter reading, of some consumer’s monthly bills.
I immediately directed Entergy not to disconnect any of the specific residents effected by these billing errors. Disconnects of those impacted accounts are suspended until the matter is reviewed and the bills are corrected. Entergy has identified two areas in Kenner that were impacted. Entergy has been ordered to immediately undertake a review to determine the source of the error and prevent such failures in the future.
All complaints regarding utility bills under our jurisdiction are thoroughly investigated by the public service commission.
Entergy has been informed that it is required to immediately correct the situation and report back to me when the matter is resolved."
Anyone will billing issues should call 1-800-ENTERGY or email a photo of your bill to Eyewitness News reporter Laurne Bale at email@example.com.