This season’s coldest temperatures are likely a thing of the past, but the cost of heating your home is leaving many Entergy customers with sticker shock.
WGNO News Reporter Darian Trotter spoke to the Utilities Company and customers about noticeable spikes in monthly bills.
Chandra Brown is an easy going, straight-laced kind of gal; but when she peeled open her latest Entergy bill her reaction was not suitable for television.
In a nut shell, she was outraged.
“I was just like holy crap, this is ridiculous,” Chandra Brown said. “Something has to be done.”
Her utility bill is normally around $70-dollars. The latest bill more than quadrupled.
“My bill is now $307.”
She says she’s taken steps to keep her bill low, like sealing her windows with plastic and using as little electricity as possible.
“We may have the TV going and one clock plugged in so I’m not understanding why my bill is so high.”
She’s frustrated to say the least.
“I say we understand,” said Entergy Customer Service Representative Toni Green-Brown. “We know they’re frustrated, and they sticker shock will hopefully lead them to take action.”
Entergy says this season’s temperatures have been colder and lasted longer than years past.
The result is higher utility bills across the board.
“It’s just been cold and so when it’s cold people use their heat and heating accounts for almost half of their bill, and they may not realize that,” Green-Brown explained. “Just like in the summer time air conditioning is half your bill. In the winter time heating is half of your bill.”
But wait, Chandra moved here from Chicago.
“I’ve been through blizzards and I’ve been through like the heat waves there. My bill has never jumped like that,” Chandra Brown said.
Because utilities have spiked this season, Entergy is offering several options to help.
You can visit the website http://www.entergyneworleans.com and sign up for level billing. It allows customers to stretch out payments of the season’s highest bills without penalty.
Council on aging also offers a special program to assist senior citizens.
“I expected it to go up a little but not as much as it did,” Chandra Brown said.
Entergy also suggests lowering your thermostat to 68. Every degree above 68 adds 3-percent to your bill.
Experts also suggest changing air filters.