April 8, 2006 - Posted at 12:37 p.m. CST
LITTLE ROCK (AP) _ Entergy Arkansas says state regulators
violated the law when they stopped a nine-point-nine percent rate
increase from taking effect April First while the state
investigates the need for additional money.
The utility says state law bars suspending rates without a
hearing except when the rate is a new one. The company asked the
state Public Service Commission to reconsider its decision.
Company officials say the nine-point-nine percent increase is
the ongoing rate mechanism the company uses to recover fuel and
power costs. They say delaying the increase will only mean even
higher electric bills for customers as the company expenses
accumulate with interest.
But a P-S-C order says the rate increase through an automatic
recovery process is unprecedented. The commission says that
increase would be on top of a six percent increase last fall and
the plan should first be justified in detail.
Entergy is the state's largest electric company. It has about
667-thousand customers in 63 of the state's 75 counties.