The PSC approved the company’s request to phase-in the increases caused by higher fuel costs nationwide.

Every American has felt the cost of inflation on their pocketbooks over the past year, and most will soon feel it even more as winter sets in and heaters turn on across the country.

Here in Mississippi, one of the two largest energy providers is Entergy Mississippi. Nearly 70% of the electricity produced by Entergy Mississippi comes from natural gas, which the company says has doubled in price over the last year.

Unfortunately, this increase will soon begin affecting all customers’ bills.

To mitigate the impact, the Mississippi Public Service Commission has approved Entergy’s request to phase-in these higher fuel costs over the next six months, from November until April 2023, easing in the increased costs on the consumer.

According to Entergy, the typical customer using 1,000 kWh of electricity per month will see an increase of about $2 per month each month while the new rate is phased in.  Once the increase is fully phased-in next April, the effect will be an approximate $12 increase on the typical residential customer’s bill.

Those who use less electricity will see less of an increase, while those using more than 1,000 kWh per month will see more of an increase.

“We know this is tough news for our customers, as prices for nearly everything are rising, so we’ve worked hard to come up with a way to soften the impact,” said Haley Fisackerly, Entergy Mississippi President and CEO. “If we didn’t phase-in these costs, the new rates would be fully in effect in November rather than April.”

Entergy Mississippi sets fuel rates on an annual basis.  While the cost to buy natural gas rose significantly over the last year, Entergy says the rates collected from customers during this time to pay for these costs did not.  All customer bills are going up as a result of these higher natural gas prices, but not as much as Entergy Mississippi’s actual costs incurred.

The company’s costs to buy natural gas are passed through to customers with no profit to the company, a release from Entergy notes.

“It’s important to note that this increase will be lower than what it could have been,” said Fisackerly. “Roughly $200 million of the benefits from Entergy’s recent settlement with the Mississippi Public Service Commission will help offset some of the high fuel costs Entergy Mississippi has already recently incurred to generate electricity. That’s a savings of $180 per customer that will not be added to future bills.”

According to the U.S. Energy Information agency, U.S. natural gas bills will increase in all regions this winter.  Entergy Mississippi is on track to spend more on natural gas this year than any year since 2000, including the record setting levels of 2008. Even with this increase, Entergy says its Mississippi rates will still be lower than the national average.