Regulatory Panel Continues to Block Electricity-Rate Rise

MAY 9, 2006 - Posted at 7:44 a.m. CST

LITTLE ROCK, AR - The state Public Service Commission has rejected a request by Entergy Arkansas to review an order from March that blocked the utility from putting in place a 9.3 percent rate increase.

Entergy had argued that the PSC violated state law by ordering the suspension, because the higher fees to be charged did not represent a new rate.

But the order approved by the PSC cited the agency's authority to determine whether what utilities charge customers are "just and reasonable."

In suspending the increase, the commission said that the 9.3 percent hike combined with a six percent increase in October would not be in the public interest.

The increase would cost a consumer of 1,000 kilowatts of energy per month $9.27 for a monthly billing period.

(Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)