As the collapse of Entergy’s transmission system during hurricane Ida revealed, electric service is a critical necessity during times of high heat. We will not accept any more deaths due to Entergy’s failures.
A 2001 legislation called the “Energy Emergency Relief Act" gives the Commission authority to declare an Energy Emergency when customers experience inordinately high utility bills and allows customers to defer payments for 12 months. The Commission should declare an Energy Emergency in addition to the 90-day moratorium to ensure customers have a path to deal with these extraordinary electricity bills.
"With mid-term elections approaching, voters should keep in mind which Commissioners helped struggling residents and who decided to go against a shut-off moratorium, says Andreanecia Morris, President of GNOHA. “The people have the power to put someone in office who actually listens to the needs of their constituents and does something to address them."
“I believe the ability to accept campaign contributions from the very entities they have regulatory authority over, is a high conflict of interest, says Jessica Cunningham, State Policy Director for the Alliance for Affordable Energy. “I also believe that shut-offs are a grave matter of public health in light of covid, monkeypox, and extreme heat-related illnesses. Lives are literally at stake, with the most vulnerable populations being the poor, the elderly, and the minorities.”
A moratorium on service shut-offs is only a short term solution, however. The high bills ratepayers are experiencing currently are attributable in substantial part to Entergy’s heavy reliance on methane for electricity generation. The NOLA City Council and the Public Service Commission must continue to pursue an aggressive transition away from methane infrastructure toward robust energy efficiency, distributed renewable energy and community solar.
For the health of our families, for the affordability of our bills, and for the future of our planet our reliance on fossil fuels must end.
If you are struggling to pay your energy bills here are some resources that may be available to you:
About Energy Efficiency for All Louisiana
Energy Efficiency for All Louisiana (EEFA-LA) is a coalition of affordable housing, health, energy, environmental, and community leaders working to change in policies and practices to ensure that all Louisianans live in homes that are affordable and healthy. We work to unite people from diverse sectors and backgrounds to collectively make multifamily affordable homes energy efficient. We do this work so people in under-invested communities – particularly black, Latinx, and other communities of color – who have been marginalized can equitably benefit from the health, economic, and environmental advantages of energy and water efficiency. EEFA-LA is a collaborative partnership between the Alliance for Affordable Energy, Greater New Orleans Housing Alliance, and other groups.