Friday, August 31, 2007

Entergy's shell game

I was examining my outrageous $530 dollar Entergy bill for the month of August in order to understand just how they are justifying such exorbitant charges. Let's take a look at the bill:

So I used 4129 kWh this month. Entergy's rate for that is about $0.06/hour which comes out to $275.53. That rate is actually not that bad in comparison to other rates nationwide.

But then you look at the highlighted line item: Energy Charge. What is the Energy Charge if I'm already paying by the kWh? Here's what it says on their website:

The energy charge covers the cost of operating and maintaining Entergy’s system. For electricity, this includes the cost of power plants and power lines. To calculate the electric energy charge, multiply the total number of kilowatt hours (kWh) used during the monthly billing period by the current rate per kWh. For gas customers, the energy charge is based on the amount of gas you used recorded in CCF (100 cubic feet). To calculate the gas energy charge, multiply the total number of CCF used during the monthly billing period by the current rate per CCF

What the fuck? I'm being billed to maintain Entergy's infrastructure? So can Cox suddenly add on an extra surcharge to maintain all their trucks and lines in the city which would essentially doubles people's bills?

The charge is "maintaining Entergy's system" what is the damn fuel adjustment charge for....that doesn't "maintain Entergy's system"? Unless they're referring to their "other system"...otherwise known as extortion.

Also notice that the explanation above says: To calculate the electric energy charge, multiply the total number of kilowatt hours (kWh) used during the monthly billing period by the current rate per kWh.

What rate? Where is the rate? Who decides that rate? That rate isn't listed anywhere on the bill. It can't be the Fuel Adjustment rate...the numbers don't add up. More importantly....why are we having to pay this bullshit in the first place?

Here's what's happening.... we are being forced to finance a company's infrastructure repairs and expansion...but we are not shareholders....we are just getting raped out of the cash while Entergy's parent company and stockholders are sheilded from the cost or dangers associated with maintaining and growing a private business.

How is this happening? I was told that our City Council unanimously voted to allow this charge to be tacked on after the storm. This is extortion....we are being forced to pay outrageous sums in order to pump capital into this private company and apparently our city council gave them the green light to do it.

Bullshit. Bullshit. Bullshit.

I would bet we are the only people nationwide who are being billed this way. Here is what a normal Energy bill should look like (from Nashville) click on the picture to blow it up:

Do you see any added charges on there for "Energy Charge"? Of course not.

I show you this bill in specific because the person who sent it to me was a former New Orleans resident. One of the reasons he moved was because of the exorbitant bills from Entergy after the storm. I know at least 4 people (families) who have left the city in the past year and cited their primary reason for leaving was that they couldn't afford their Entergy bills.

We are being raped. Pure and simple.

Here's one thing I want to find out....if anyone out there is an Entergy client from Arkansas or another area....could you let us know if you are being billed this extra line item on your bill?


Anonymous said...

maybe these folks can help get the word out and help us put an end to this nonsense once and for all, if they're serious about their mission:

Anonymous said...

the rider has those rates (see lins). i was always under the impression that they were screwing us with the fuel adjustment factor. in previous years, it the fuel adjustment amounted to less than the fuel charge, which i thought was the standard charge. my assumption was probably wrong, but at one time i thought the fuel adjustment was how they passed along their high cost of fuel to the customer. their high cost because they do not secure long term contracts, but purchase in short term periods. this is all from memory when i started the googling last year after getting a $400 bill. i'll try to find more.

Anonymous said...

i think the energy charge and fuel adjustment have always been on the bill, before the levee failure.

Anonymous said...

Arkansas rider for energy charge

Arkansas fuel adjustment

Anonymous said...

You appear to be reading the bill incorrectly. The "Energy Charge" is the base cost of the electricity. The "fuel adjustment" is a variable cost, based on the fluctuating price of the fuel used to run the power plant. (This is typically natural gas.) You'll note that the fuel adjustment is MORE than the energy charge! That's the real ripoff. If you want to really start digging into this, you have to look into a number of other factors, for example:

--During times of "peak demand" Entergy may be buying additional electricity on the "wholesale market" at extremely high rates. The power companies sometimes run scams where they buy this "excess capacity" from each other at exhorbitant rates. (That's exactly how Enron scammed so much money during the fake "crisis" in California several years ago. Shut down the low-cost plant, run the high-cost plant. Add on extra for transmission charges, and someone's making megabucks.

--You may recall how after the storm, Entergy New Orleans, a separate division of the parent company, went into bankruptcy. Entergy consists of a number of these subsidiary companies. What's to prevent them from "selling" electricity to each other at jacked-up rates?

--There's no doubt that Entergy is engaging in all kinds of accounting games to increase their alleged "costs" on paper. Remember, as a regulated monopoly, they charge rates that are based (to some extent) on "operating costs." How are these "operating costs" determined? Let the games begin.

Anonymous said...

It's not just Entergy. AEP-SWEPCO screws us here in N. La., too. My "fuel adjustment" or "fuel charge" (can't remember the exact wording on the bill) is usualy about th esame--sometimes a little more--than the cost of the electricity I actually use. yeah, it sucks.

Sam Jasper said...

Gee, and I was just so happy. I finally appear to have paid off the 1300 bucks they said I owed, and had a 92 dollar credit on my bill, just hit the send button to pay them and now see this. Rats, what a buzz kill. And how fucking worrisome is that that PAYING, without going into hock, an Entergy bill qualifies as a buzz!!

mominem said...

You can find the current Fuel adjustment charges here

Jason Brad Berry said...

i'm not questioning the Feul adjusmtent rate....that's listed on the bill. I'm asking where the Energy Charge rate is.

Anonymous said...

You are absolutley right! We are being raped. I live in Texas, our Entergy comes from New Orleans. My fuel charge this month was almost double to the electricity actually used. My bill: $114.00 electricity usage $210.00 fuel charge. I don't mind pay the fuel charge but double of what I use. Hello, absolute robbery. I have no choice but to use Entergy, it is all that we have where I live.
What can be don

Anonymous said...


I'm from Arkadelphia Arkansas. We rent a small one room. All day in class. The spending is $25, the energy charge is freaking $58 WTF ?! F@#$ yeah, I'm leaving them !

Anonymous said...

I have been charge 75.61 in fuel surcharge this month!!

Anonymous said...

Sorry to bump an ancient thread and just FYI, 4 megawatt hours is a massive amount of electricity to use in one month. Maybe turn up the thermostat to 78 or 80 and turn on a fan? That would go a long way to reducing your outrageous bills, which I assume have only gotten more outrageous as time has passed. Something else you could do is get (gasp) window units and cool only your bedrooms at night. Either that or move somewhere that is not 105 degrees and 98% humidity for four or five months a year.

Anonymous said...

Stumbled on this googling "fuck swepco" in my powerless apartment. I just wanna second fhe bit about swepco/AEP fucking people over in
North louisiana. Im in shreveport and man do they -- they take your money SUPERquick, but the power goes out every other fcking week -- its 80 degrees, clear skies no wind and powers been out since 430pm. Its 10pm. Absolutely worthless as a company. Hell, this sort of consumer rape (the perfect term btw) isnt even limited to power companies; its rampant in this country because theres no one to stop it. Our "government" (an absolute joke, state and fed) doesnt gaf because they recieve TONS of money from these companies and not just via taxes. Our "representatives" have sold us out, plain and simple. Excellent article and an issue thst needs to be tied to a brick and thrown threw congress' collective windows. F*ck you swepco/AEP