Entergy Arkansas Rates May Rise Less Under Settlement

JUNE 2, 2005 - Posted at 8:05 a.m. CDT

LITTLE ROCK, AR - A ruling by a federal panel overturns part of an electricity rate case and means Entergy Arkansas customers won't pay as much of an increase as expected.

The Arkansas Public Service Commission says customers of Arkansas' largest electric utility had faced the prospect of paying extra costs for Entergy expenses in Louisiana.  But the ruling by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission overturned parts of a ruling by an administrative law judge.

The case involved New Orleans-based Entergy Corporation, partent company of Entergy Arkansas.  Entergy operates utilities in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas and the individual companies share the benefits and costs of the entire system.  Louisiana regulators had asked that Entergy Arkansas pick up more of the cost, and the administrative law judge agreed.

Yesterday's ruling effectively relieves Arkansas ratepayers of having to pay for past cost-sharing.  The ruling also said Arkansas ratepayers would not have to help Entergy Louisiana pay for an expensive hydroelectric generator at Vidalia, Louisiana.

Entergy Arkansas has about 660,000 customers in 63 of the state's 75 counties.

(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)