Two utility-rate cases before the Louisiana Public Service Commission last year could have led to rate hikes for about 1 million residential customers. AARP and other consumer advocates intervened, and in settlements announced in December, Entergy Louisiana agreed to drop its proposed $144 million rate hike to $10 million, while Entergy Gulf States Louisiana backed off entirely from a proposed $38 million increase.
“Retirees spend a higher percentage of their budgets on utilities than working people do, so any increase hurts them relatively more,’’ said Brenda Hatfield, AARP state president.
As part of the settlement, AARP will work with the companies to develop programs designed to help low-income customers manage utility expenses. To join the Utility Watchdog Team, email firstname.lastname@example.org.