Social Security recipient asks how low-income people can be expected to pay rising Entergy bills

PSC commissioner holds town hall meeting
She had questions about her bill and how low income customers are expected to pay.
She had questions about her bill and how low income customers are expected to pay.(Theresa Schmidt kplc)
Published: Aug. 15, 2022 at 11:36 PM CDT
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Lake Charles, LA (KPLC) -About a hundred people showed up for a town hall meeting with their incumbent public service commissioner. People asked a wide range of questions ranging from infrastructure concerns to surviving on a fixed income.

At the meeting, people came to get a face-to-face with the incumbent District 4 Public Service Commissioner Mike Francis who was fielding their questions. He brought along an expert to help with answers, PSC Executive Secretary Brandon Frey who happens to be an attorney.

They heard concerns about high bills from people on fixed incomes and people who were out of the country for two months and still had a bill of over $100.

Some ask, why do customers have to pay for Entergy’s storm restoration?

Commissioner Francis explains, “Storm damage has to be passed down to rate payers, it’s the law.”

There were also concerns about how much profit Entergy makes, and why they can’t improve infrastructure with underground lines instead of unsightly poles.

Ryan Nugent said, “They keep putting poles back in the air. I’m looking at poles that look terrible.”

Many people question if competition, like what they have in some areas of Texas, would reduce prices.

And others just wanted to clear the air about rumors. One lady asked Francis, “Are you a shareholder (of Entergy stock.)

Francis replied, “No!” He said he has never held Entergy stock.

The controversial $150 credit for low income customers wasn’t discussed much except to suggest it won’t have much impact because such a small percentage of customers will be able to receive it.

Ultimately the most straightforward advice came from Commissioner Mike Francis himself who says those who have a specific problem with their bill or otherwise should call his office.

Two challengers are running against Francis for commissioner of District 4. They are Keith Bodin of ragley and Shalon Latour of Iowa.

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