Louisiana Residents Get Billed $1.5 Billion More For Storms
Residents across Louisiana are having billions of additional dollars added to their electric bills, through no fault of their own. We're talking about single moves that increase bills by more than $1 billion at a time.
Louisiana power companies, Entergy, CLECO and SWEPCO, have been adding these increased costs to residents bills with approval from the state government as well. These charges included over $3 billion worth of increases in 2020 and 2021, and now have an additional $1.5 billion added for 2022. Bringing the rise to just under $5 billion in 2 years.
These charges are being blamed on the hurricanes and winter storms the state of Louisiana has experienced since the start of 2020. Entergy, CLECO and SWEPCO have all passed the costs of repairing their constantly failing infrastructure onto Louisiana residents. But it hasn't been without a fight.
Public Service Commissioner Foster Campbell has pushed back on these additional charges multiple times. Back in 2022, Campbell told the power company's officials:
“I’m sick of the free ride you get”
The issues that Campbell brought to the table revolve around the lack of payment for repairs the companies are contributing, and the amount of raises being given to their top employments:
“Your stockholders are not putting up a dime. You say you have never done it that way? There is no rule against it. You can do it. You just don’t want to.”
Campbell pointed out that Entergy gave Chief Executive Officer and Chairman Leo Denault a raise during this period, bringing his annual payment from $10 million a year, to $16 million a year. He also pointed out that $1.5 billion in dividends had been given to investors as well.
Now Louisiana residents will face another $1.5 billion in charges after the latest round of state charges. Which was quickly added on by the Louisiana Public Service Commission, only seeing two votes against it; one from newly elected District 3 Commissioner Davante Lewis, and Campbell.