Entergy raising rates; cites storm, fuel costs, acquisitions

JACKSON — Entergy Mississippi customers will see a rate increase of about 5 percent in early 2013, according to the utility.

The typical residential customer using 1,000 kWh will pay $95.63 in January and $99.71 in February. For comparison, in February 2012, the typical customer paid $95.08 per 1,000 kWh of electricity.

“Electricity rates are determined by a number of factors and continually fluctuate, and we work very hard to keep rates stable and as low as possible.” said Haley Fisackerly, Entergy Mississippi president and CEO. “We understand that no one ever likes to pay more for something. Even with the increase, our rates remain among the lowest in the state, region and country.”

The utility said factors affecting the rate include a significant rise in natural gas costs of about 33 percent since Entergy Mississippi’s last fuel filing in August.

Also, Hurricane Isaac hit Mississippi in August causing widespread outages and damage to Entergy’s infrastructure. It was the fourth worst storm to hit the Entergy system, and restoration cost about $30 million. While Entergy maintains a storm reserve, that reserve has had a negative balance since September 2008.

Finally, in the past few months Entergy Mississippi has bought the Hinds Energy plant and has purchased additional output of the Grand Gulf Nuclear Station from Entergy Arkansas Inc.

“The purchase of a modern new power plant and an increase in our share of Grand Gulf’s output will bring long-term savings to help offset fluctuations that are beyond our control, such as storms and fuel prices on the world market,” said Fisackerly. “In addition, our recently-approved move to the Midwest Independent Transmission System Operator, or MISO, which will take place by this time next year is estimated to save our customers up to $284 million over the next decade.”

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