GONZALES – Entergy is trying to reason with its customers after the company received public backlash when customers saw record-high electric bills this summer.
An Entergy representative showed up at the Gonzales City Council meeting Monday to explain the increase.
“Obviously, the utility bills have been unusually high this summer,” Entergy rep. Aaron Lodges said. “Number one is probably big increases in usage, and that’s due to the record setting heat that we’ve had. That naturally makes air conditioners run more, which causes people to use more power.”
Secondly, Lodges gave similar reasons why prices at the gas pumps were increasing.
“The fuel adjustment charge that people have been seeing, natural gas has increased steadily over the past couple of years and that’s something outside of Entergy’s control,” he said.
Another big reason customers are seeing a spike in costs is because they’re paying for the damage from past storms.
“We’ve had a number of different storms over the past couple of years that’s done billions of dollars of damage to our systems,” Lodges explained.
Last week, another Entergy representative said if another storm like Hurricane Ida passes through, customers could go up to 3 weeks without power.
“Every storm is different. Some storms can blow through quickly. Some storms can kind of linger and hover and cause a whole different set of problems and so those estimates that we give are just what they are. They’re estimates, a rough estimate that we give to customers to try and give them an idea of what to anticipate because the goal is that we want customers to try and plan ahead before that storm comes along,” he said.
As far as when customers will start seeing a break from those bills, it could be when temperatures start cooling down.