The Port Arthur News
A proposed rate increase application by Entergy Texas Inc. is being put on hold by local municipalities so the issue can be researched.
The proposed rates would result in an increase of approximately $40 million in revenue for Entergy Texas Inc.
Cities have what is called ‘original jurisdiction’ thus requiring the utility company to ask permission before raising rates in order to allow for a review and analysis. Daniel Lawton of Lawton Law Firm has been retained as part of a city steering committee and represents the interests of Port Arthur, Nederland, Port Neches and Groves locally.
The effective date of the proposed increase is Oct. 30 and local municipalities have filed ordinances suspending the action for 90 days from the Sept. 25 filing, he said. The new effective date is Jan. 28, 2014.
The issue will be reviewed by experts in finance and economics before Lawton makes a recommendation to each of the local cities.
“This is the fourth case we have filed since 2007,” Lawton said via phone. In 2007, Entergy requested $112 million and received a $25 million increase instead. In 2009 they received a $60 million increase, just 30 percent of what they requested, and in 2012 during litigation they asked for $111 million and the judge granted only $23 million, he said.
Historically, he said, the actual amount received or granted is about 20 to 25 percent of the original request after the issue is reviewed by judges and experts in the field.
The cities of Port Neches and Port Arthur have already approved an ordinance suspending the proposed rates and the City of Groves is set to discuss the issue during its meeting Monday night. Nederland will discuss the issue at its meeting next week.