Entergy Mississippi, Inc.
Short-term costs to be outweighed by long-term benefits
JACKSON, Miss. - After a long period of declining or steady rates, Entergy Mississippi customers will see a rate increase of about 5 percent in early 2013. 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.
With the increase, Entergy Mississippi's residential rates will remain well below (about 16 percent below) the current national average residential rate of $119.00, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. (https://www.eia.doe.gov/cneaf/electricity/page/eia826.html)
"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."
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. Entergy's fuel costs are passed through to the customer, dollar-for-dollar, with no profit.
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., both of which will produce hundreds of millions of dollars in fuel savings for customers over the life of these generating units. In fact, a Mississippi Public Utilities Staff consultant estimates $53 million in annual fuel savings from the Hinds plant alone. It will take two to three years before the fuel savings of Hinds exceed the ownership costs.
"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."
While Entergy Mississippi works to keep electricity costs low, customers can do the same by being more energy-efficient.
"We encourage our customers to visit our website, entergy-mississippi.com, to learn how they can save money on their energy bills and minimize any impact from the increase," Fisackerly said.
Entergy Mississippi, Inc. provides electricity to more than 437,000 customers in 45 counties. It is a subsidiary of Entergy Corporation. Entergy Corporation is 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.