PAnews.com, Port Arthur, Texas

May 1, 2009

Entergy to give fuel refund during summer


Entergy Texas, Inc. has good news for customers worried about their electricity bills this summer. A refund that reflects falling fuel prices will start showing up on bills in June and remain in place through September.

The company is set to refund a total of $46.1 million beginning with Entergy Texas’ first billing cycle in June. The refund will lower the average 1,000 kilowatt-hour residential bill by $6.78 a month for four months. As a result, the average residential bill will drop from about $105 to about $97.

The refund will begin only three months after customers began to see the effect of lower fuel costs on their bills. In March, a fixed charge for fuel that is only changed every six months was set at its lowest rate in years -- $44.42 per 1,000 kilowatt-hours of electricity. That lowered the average residential bill from $132 to $105. The refund will lower bills even more.

Entergy Texas does not make a profit on fuel costs, they are pass-through charges. The fixed charge is placed on customer bills each March and September according to a formula agreed to by the Public Utility Commission of Texas which must approve all fuel charges. But fuel prices vary frequently and setting a fixed charge every six months does not reflect all of these fluctuations as quickly as they occur. If too little is collected, a temporary surcharge may be added to bills. Or if too much is collected, as is the case in recent months, a refund may be given.

“Paying bills can be challenging in today’s recessionary climate,” said Joe Domino, president and chief executive officer, Entergy Texas, Inc. “But at least the drop in fuel prices means our customers will get some relief on their electricity bills during the most trying months of the year.”  

Entergy Texas, Inc. provides electricity to 396,000 customers in 27 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, and it is the second-largest nuclear generator in the United States. Entergy delivers electricity to 2.7 million utility customers in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas. Entergy has annual revenues of over $13 billion and approximately 14,700 employees.