JACKSON, Mississippi – Entergy Mississippi customers will see a rate increase of about 4 percent beginning in February, mainly due to rising natural gas costs and an under-recovery of fuel costs in 2013. Fuel costs are passed through to the customer dollar-for-dollar with no profit to the company.
With the increase, the typical residential customer using 1,000 kilowatt hours will pay $108.08 beginning in February. That’s about $4.21 more than the typical customer paid for the same amount of electricity in 2013.
Entergy Mississippi’s residential rates will remain about 12 percent below the national average residential rate of $123.10, according to the U.S. Department of Energy.
“We use a diverse mix of fuel to generate electricity at the lowest reasonable cost, but natural gas costs have been rising over the past couple of years and that does affect rates,” said Haley Fisackerly, Entergy Mississippi president and CEO. “Electric bills are a combination of rates and usage. We work to keep rates low, and we encourage customers to keep usage low by being more energy-efficient.”
Natural gas costs rose about 12.5 percent in 2013 and rose some 33 percent in 2012, according to an Entergy news release. Additionally, in 2013 Entergy Mississippi recovered from its customers approximately $36 million less than the company spent on fuel and purchased energy used to serve customer needs, the company said. That shortfall is driving most of the current increase.
“Due to typical fluctuations in fuel costs, we continue to seek ways to access diverse supply options,” said Fisackerly. “We completed our integration into MISO less than a month ago which will give us access to new resources and pools of power that will help us keep customer costs down going forward.”
Entergy Mississippi, Inc. provides electricity to more than 437,000 customers in 45 counties. It is a subsidiary of Entergy Corporation, an integrated energy company engaged primarily in electric power production and retail distribution operations. Entergy owns and operates power plants with approximately 30,000 megawatts of electric generating capacity, including more than 10,000 megawatts of nuclear power, making it one of the nation’s leading nuclear generators. Entergy delivers electricity to 2.8 million utility customers in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas. Entergy has annual revenues of more than $11 billion and approximately 15,000 employees.