Isaac Surcharge on Electric Bills Likely

Sep 18, 2012

Entergy is estimating Hurricane Isaac caused between $400 to $500 million worth of damage to its power grid. Some of the repair costs is very likely to fall on customers.

After a storm, Entergy must run all their storm-related expenditures through the Public Service Commission. The PSC will then pore over the numbers, deem what was or was not a reasonable expense and then help the company figure out how to pay for the final cost of damage.

District 2 Commissioner Jimmy Field said customers will more than likely have to pay a surcharge because of Isaac. The surcharge goes to pay off bonds issued by the company to pay for things like new transmission towers and poles and busing in out-of-state crews.

Field said it's important people realize they pay for a rebuild of the grid after a storm.

"We felt like as a commission it was important for rate-payers to know, well, Katrina cost you X dollars a month for 10 years; Gustav and Rita may have cost you this," said Field.

According to the Associated Press, Entergy asked the PSC to add per-month surcharges to customers for the next 10 years to raise almost $500 million to pay for damages after Hurricane Katrina.

Entergy Spokesman Michael Burns says it's too soon to discuss the impact Isaac will have on individual customers but that the company is exploring all reasonable avenues to recover the costs of Isaac.