This ruling is a huge victory for the people of Louisiana, and the Alliance applauds the Louisiana Public Service Commission (LSPC) and the New Orleans City Council (CNO) for its leadership in pursuing this outcome. As a result of this decision, and despite Entergy’s claims otherwise, Louisiana and New Orleans ratepayers served by Entergy should expect to be issued hundreds of millions of dollars in refunds.
The Alliance has been working diligently for years to hold corporate utilities like Entergy accountable for profiteering at the expense of Louisiana ratepayers. There are few clearer examples of Entergy’s malfeasance as an energy provider than its over-charging ratepayers for ‘maintenance’ of the barely functional Grand Gulf Station because of uncertainty over its tax liability.
We urge that the FERC, LSPC, and CNO continue to press Entergy on issues pertaining to Grand Gulf to ensure that ratepayers are made adequately whole with these refunds, particularly in the wake of Winter Storm Elliott. Entergy utility bills for December are likely to be extremely high in part because Grand Gulf was essentially non-functional during much of the storm, forcing utilities to rely heavily on natural gas to ensure that people’s homes were heated over the holiday weekend.
The Alliance looks forward to continuing its work with regulators and policymakers in the new year to ensure that Entergy does not avoid its obligations to ratepayers as established by this decision.
Update | January 3, 2023
The Louisiana Public Service Commission, New Orleans City Council, and Arkansas Public Service Commission (together, the "Retail Regulators") have issued an emergency motion in response to Entergy's "blatantly incorrect" press release about the Grand Gulf FERC decision.
In it's press release issued on December 26, 2022, Entergy asserted "that System Energy Resources, Inc. (SERI) owes $0 to consumers in refunds for SERI's failure to include decommissioning liability Accumulated Deferred Income Tax (ADIT) balances in rate base during the period 2004 to the present." Basically Entergy is suggesting that it has made investments that have reduced costs/passed on “savings” to ratepayers well beyond what FERC is saying they owe in refunds.
However, as stated by the Retail Regulators in their motion, "The position Entergy asserts in its press release is a blatant and perhaps intentional misrepresentation of the Commission's Orders."
The Retail Regulators are requesting "that the Commission immediately issue a press release or explanatory statement confirming that SERI owes additional refunds for its violation of Commission tax normalization requirements."