Lower Fuel Costs Shrink Entergy Mississippi Bills Nearly 14 Percent

Reduction effective through first quarter of 2009

Jackson, Miss. – Thanks to a continued decline in natural gas prices, customers of Entergy Mississippi, Inc. will ring in the new year with lower electric bills. From January through March, the typical residential bill will drop another 14 percent.

The first quarter fuel adjustment, approved by the Mississippi Public Service Commission, is the third such reduction since a nationwide spike in natural gas prices pushed bills up 28 percent last July and August. This decrease effectively wipes out the summer increase, leaving rates about 32 percent lower than they were in mid-summer.

Based on the latest adjustment, typical residential customers using 1,000 kilowatt hours a month will pay about $89 for the first quarter of 2009 compared to bills from July and August when the same amount cost nearly $133.

“This fuel adjustment provides further relief to customers, which is especially important during these tough economic times,” said Haley Fisackerly, president and chief executive officer of Entergy Mississippi, Inc. “We’re cautiously optimistic that natural gas prices will continue to decrease in 2009, or at least become less volatile. This energy crisis is a nationwide challenge, and we’re continually working to find solutions that will benefit customers and provide long-term stability in our rates.”

After skyrocketing more than 120 percent since mid 2007, natural gas prices began falling in late July 2008. Entergy Mississippi filed for an unprecedented mid-quarter adjustment with the MPSC that resulted in a 9.6 percent reduction in customers’ September bills. That was followed by another 9 percent drop when the utility filed for the final quarter of 2008.
Currently, natural gas prices are still higher than in 2007 and could rise again in this volatile market, creating a negative impact on future customer bills. While Entergy Mississippi uses a diverse fuel mix to generate electricity at the lowest reasonable cost, natural gas is the utility’s largest fuel source.

Entergy Mississippi makes routine quarterly fuel filings with the Mississippi Public Utilities Staff and the MPSC to recover costs of fuel used to provide electric service to customers. Both the staff and commission have 45 days prior to the start of the affected quarter to review the filing and make changes before it goes into effect. By law, the utility makes no profit on fuel charges.

Entergy Mississippi, Inc. provides electricity to more than 433,000 customers in 45 counties. It is a subsidiary of Entergy Corporation. 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 2.6 million utility customers in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas.

Entergy Press Release
via MSPress.org