Today, results from a third independent audit of Entergy ordered by the Public Service Commission has cleared Entergy of any wrongdoing in their energy procurement practices. This comes on the heels of a lawsuit filed by Attorney General Jim Hood in state court and the AG grandstanding in public over the allegations.
In December 2008, Hood filed a lawsuit alleging that Entergy was illegally manipulating the price of power they purchase and were not purchasing the cheapest power available to provide. This suit was filed using out of state plaintiffs lawyers. They were occasionally joined by PSC Commish Brandon Presley in attempting to pile on in the PR realm.
From Entergy’s Press Release . . .
Once again, an independent auditing expert, hired by the Mississippi Public Service Commission, has found no improper charges by Entergy Mississippi, Inc. to customers. This is the third MPSC-commissioned, independent audit in two years to reach this conclusion.
“We are pleased both with the overall assessment by McFadden Consulting Group and that the Commission adopted and certified the audit report to the Mississippi Legislature,” said Bob Grenfell, vice president of regulatory affairs for Entergy Mississippi, Inc.
McFadden Consulting Group Inc. filed the audit report with the MPSC on Tuesday, March 30, which certified it shortly after. The audit report, which examined Entergy Mississippi’s operations, found that the processes and procedures utilized by Entergy in purchasing power help ensure that energy is procured for customers at the lowest practical costs.
McFadden’s finding is consistent with another Commission-ordered audit report of Entergy Mississippi’s fuel procurement policies and fuel adjustment clause. In that operations report, Vantage Consulting found that Entergy purchases energy, fuel, transmission rights and access, and other related products at the lowest reasonable cost.
The third Commission-ordered audit, by Horne LLP, an accounting and auditing firm, was a financial audit of the company’s energy cost recovery mechanism. Horne’s audit report confirms that Entergy Mississippi has properly accounted for fuel and purchased energy costs.
McFadden’s report points out that Entergy is one of the largest and most complex utilities in the United States, and that the review and analysis was thorough.
“We’re pleased that all three of these independent, expert auditing firms have confirmed what we already know—that our 1,400 Mississippi employees work hard to bring reliable, affordable and safe electricity to our customers,” said Haley Fisackerly, chief executive officer for Entergy Mississippi, Inc. “We take pride in the way we operate our business and take our obligation to serve very seriously, and we have for more than 85 years.”
There’s lots more background to this story. Here are the links.