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Increase in Entergy bills have customers scrambling for answers

"I've never seen is like this before ... This is ridiculous. My bill is double, for what? It's ridiculous because I don't know what this is."

NEW ORLEANS -- Big Chief Monk Boudreaux is taking time away from sewing his Mardi Gras Indian suit to talk about his Entergy bill.

He, along with hundreds of others, has a big problem with a major increase in charges.

"I've never seen is like this before," Boudreaux said. "This is ridiculous. My bill is double, for what? It's ridiculous because I don't know what this is."

There are several different fees on his bill, so we talked to Entergy New Orleans about what each one means. This is the breakdown:

  • The electric base rate charge is the cost of electricity used.
  • Formula rate plan refers to city council’s review of the electric base rates. This number can then be adjusted according to that review.
  • The Storm Securitization Cost Riders is a fee that covers repairs Entergy makes to equipment like power lines after a major storm or hurricane.
  • MISO Recovery Rider is a fee customers pay for Entergy to be a part of MISO—which allows them to purchase power from different sources at the lowest price available and transmit it.
  • Customers also have to pay for capacity to generate electricity, you’ll see that on your bill as Capacity Acquisition Cost Rider.
  • If Entergy burns coal or oil to generate electricity, customers pay for that in the Fuel and Purchased Power Cost fee.
  • And, the Street Use Franchise Fee is to pay for Entergy's right to operate in New Orleans.

All of these fees have been approved by City Council.

And what you're not seeing on your bill, but you are paying for, is energy lost between the power source and your home.

"Our distribution system is very outdated," said Logan Burke, executive director at the Alliance for Affordable Energy. "Lines, poles, those lines have been neglected and we lose a lot of power through those inefficiencies."

Toni Green-Brown, Entergy New Orleans public affairs manager said "the full cost of what's transmitted is charged."

We asked if that full cost is charged, even if all the power doesn't reach customers. Toni's answer: "Exactly."

And the more power customers try to use, the more power is lost.

"If I use it I don't mind paying for it, but if I don't use it, why do I have to pay for something I don't even use?" Boudreaux asked. "It's right for them, but it's wrong for us."

While Big Chief Boudreaux is popping his needle, hundreds of people in New Orleans sounded off on Facebook and Twitter about expensive Entergy bills.

"I know it got cold for a spell, but I don't think my bill should be double," he said.. "They know I'm going to pay it, I don't have a choice but it's not right."

For more information on understanding your Entergy bill, click here.

For a list of Entergy payment options, click here.