Entergy seeks new rate plan in Mississippi

Published on NewsOK Modified: June 10, 2014 at 10:50 pm •  Published: June 10, 2014

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — Entergy Corp. asked Mississippi regulators Tuesday to overhaul the power provider's entire rate structure in a proposal that would generate an estimated $49 million increase in annual revenue.

"This is the first general rate case filing we've had with the Mississippi Public Service Commission in 12 years," CEO Haley Fisackerly told The Associated Press. "Every so often, when you go through a lot of changes, you have to reset."

Changes are likely as the separate Public Utilities Staff evaluates the plan before sending it to the three-member Public Service Commission. The commission must approve the proposal, with Entergy looking to complete that process by January. That's when customers will no longer have to pay a recently approved fuel charge on their bills. Assuming that happens, the $6.28-a-month increase in a bill for a customer who uses 1,000 kilowatt hours will be offset by a $5.57 decrease in the fuel charge.

A 1,000-kilowatt-hour customer would pay $114.36 a month, if regulators approve. The average Entergy Mississippi customer who uses about 1,300 kilowatt hours per month would pay $148.67 a month, less than $1 above bills with the fuel charge.

The utility wants to increase its customer charge — the amount paid just for being hooked up to the grid, which would push the minimum bill from $6.36 to $9.44 a month. In testimony filed with the PSC, Entergy said it costs more than $15 a month to keep each customer hooked up. Spokeswoman Mara Hartmann said usage charges would decrease, offsetting the customer charge for those who consume more power. Those who use less would see proportionally larger bill increases.

The biggest part of the $49 million increase would stem from Entergy marking down the value of some facilities more rapidly as they age. That would increase what customers pay toward depreciation by $30 million a year. Entergy said it needs the cash to pay for improvements.