Rate increases for Entergy, CenterPoint Energy go into effect in October

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Power substation generic(KMAN Radio)
Published: Sep. 14, 2021 at 4:04 PM CDT
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JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - Some utility ratepayers in the state will soon be paying more for natural gas and electricity.

The Mississippi Public Service Commission recently approved rate increases for Entergy Mississippi and CenterPoint Energy.

The increases are slated to go into effect during the October billing cycle and will impact approximately 131,000 CenterPoint customers and 456,000 Entergy customers.

The typical Entergy customer will see his or her bill go up by about $2.15 a month, while the average residential bill for CenterPoint customers will rise by $1.47, according to Central District Public Service Commissioner Brent Bailey.

Entergy petitioned the commission for the rate increase to cover rising ad valorem costs. Under state statute, the utility must pass rising property tax expenses onto the customer.

“This is a dollar-for-dollar cost recovery and the utility does not earn a return or a profit,” Bailey said in an email.

Entergy serves homes and businesses in 45 counties in west Mississippi.

“We pay ad valorem taxes in every county we’re in,” said spokeswoman Mara Hartmann. “We’re not exempt from that.”

Hartmann said those taxes, in turn, go back into government coffers and help counties fund other services.

CenterPoint was allowed a raise increase due to a “stipulation between the MS Public Utilities Staff and CenterPoint.”

CenterPoint and other investor-owned utilities “are allowed a certain range on their return in investments,” Bailey wrote. “If they fall below the allowed return rate, the utility may file for an adjustment.”

Investors’ returns on investments had fallen, in part, because of increases in material costs and system improvements costs, Bailey wrote.

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