By Jesse George, AAE's New Orleans Policy Director
This is in addition to the advisors’ other recent recommendation that the Council approve approximately $133M of ENO’s $179M application for Hurricane Ida costs, which will cause additional increases in bills. Furthermore, the Council has yet to make a decision on ENO’s $1B application for storm hardening, which if approved would also cause increases in bills.
While the Council hopes to offset some of this rate impact with an expected settlement related to pending litigation before the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, when that money will arrive – and how much it will offset – is unknown. Meanwhile, ratepayers are left to deal with an electric grid that fails frequently on fair weather days and skyrocketing bills as temperatures swelter. The heat and pressure can’t last.
The Alliance has urged the Council to take a variety of measures to alleviate ratepayers’ energy burdens, including more aggressive deployment of energy efficiency, creating a local carveout under the Renewable and Clean Portfolio Standard, strengthening reliability standards, adopting a citywide arrearage management program, fixing the broken bill dispute process, and amending the Community Solar Rules to create real incentive for local solar development. As regulator, the Council has the authority to act – now it must find the urgency to do so.