JACKSON — Public Service Commission chairman Brandon Presley says a recent decision by a Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) judge should quickly translate into millions of dollars in refunds to customers of the Jackson-based corporate utility Entergy Mississippi.
On Dec. 9, Presiding Administrative Law Judge Jon P. Dring of FERC found that Entergy had violated it system agreement and had sold lowest cost power to third parties for corporate profits rather than to its ratepayers, as required. Dring’s order says that the shareholders of Entergy should be required to refund the amount of overcharges plus interest for the transactions in question from 2000 to 2009.
“Having this order in hand, Entergy should immediately take steps to make these refunds and not put shareholders interest above the public interest by trying to delay this process.” Presley said.
Presley says those refunds should be sent directly from Entergy Mississippi to their customers by check. “Entergy Mississippi needs to be prepared to write checks back to their customers who have been overcharged. This should not show up as a credit, there should be a check in the mail.”
Presley said that obvious reforms are needed to protect against future corporate violations and that he plans to work to get those protections in place quickly.
Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood, who filed a lawsuit against Entergy two years ago, said the judge’s ruling confirms the state’s position that the corporate giant is operating under a system that has not provided ratepayers with a fair cost for electricity that is supplied under open and transparent business practices.
“A judge has now found by compelling evidence that Entergy has overcharged ratepayers by selling them its most expensive electricity. This is one of the company’s methods of cheating ratepayers as stated in our lawsuit,” Hood said. “The law is crystal clear that they must provide ratepayers with the cheapest electricity.”