Entergy New Orleans resumes shutoffs

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Entergy New Orleans has ended its shutoff moratorium.Starting Tuesday, accounts that have unpaid accounts are at risk of having their power shut off. Disconnections were halted over the summer in an effort to offer relief to customers who were struggling to pay skyrocketing bills. Entergy New Orleans officials have blamed the increase on a combination of hot temperatures and rising natural gas prices. “(Natural gas prices) were 200% higher this summer, so that did impact our customers,” said Sandra Diggs-Miller, vice president of customer service.She told WDSU that customers with past-due balances should contact the utility company immediately.”We don’t know what we can do to help you unless we hear from you,” said Diggs-Miller. “There are things that we can work with customers on, but they have to reach out to us so that we can understand their personal situation and then what we can do to help.”Entergy New Orleans can be reached by phone at 1-800-Entergy or in person at one of their two walk-in locations. One is located in MidCity at 3400 Canal St., and the other is at 4201 Behrman Highway, in Algiers. Local nonprofits are also encouraging residents to reach out to the utility for help because their resources are being stretched thin by increasing demand.Total Community Action offers Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program, or LIHEAP, funding through the state, as well as other utility assistance programs. However, access manager Selton Jones told WDSU that they currently have a waiting list of 500 to 600 people.”This will probably be the first time where on the first (of the month), we are not that agency you can come to to get that help, unfortunately,” said Jones. “The funds are just not entirely there for us to accept new applications until those funds have been released by the state.” The city of New Orleans also announced two utility assistance events this week for people who need help paying their power bills. The question many are asking is when energy prices will start to drop. Eric Smith, the associate director of the Tulane Energy Institute, said prices will likely remain high but should increase at a lower rate as we head toward the end of the year.”What I try to tell people is Louisiana has some of the cleanest and lowest cost of electricity and natural gas in the world, never mind just in the United States,” said Smith. “We may be complaining about a price that people in England haven’t seen in 30 years.”He said the United States has plenty of natural gas at its disposal, but that access to that supply is often impacted by regulations set by whoever is in political power at the time. Entergy New Orleans provided the following information for customers who are still struggling to pay their utility bills:Entergy New Orleans partners with third-party agencies that provide utility bill assistance for seniors, individuals with disabilities, and programs that are income-based. Through Entergy’s The Power to Care program, local nonprofit agencies provide emergency bill payment assistance to seniors and disabled individuals. Please call the New Orleans Council on Aging at 504-821-4121 for information. Customers can receive incentives for installing energy-efficient upgrades through the Energy Smart program. Examples of eligible energy efficiency upgrades available at little to no cost include LED bulbs, smart thermostats, AC tune-ups, duct sealing and insulation. In addition, customers can schedule a free in-home energy audit. Customers are also encouraged to use the myAdvisor tool on myentergy.com to manage their energy usage. The usage and cost tool can compare usage history by month, day and hour. Qualifying customers may receive a one-time $500 direct credit towards their Entergy New Orleans bill through the United for Grocery Workers Relief Fund. Additional information can be found by visiting www.unitedwaysela.org/Grocery. Rental customers who have received an eviction notice may qualify for utility bill assistance through the city of New Orleans. Visit nola.gov/community-development/emergency-rental-assistance/ for more information.

Entergy New Orleans has ended its shutoff moratorium.

Starting Tuesday, accounts that have unpaid accounts are at risk of having their power shut off.

Disconnections were halted over the summer in an effort to offer relief to customers who were struggling to pay skyrocketing bills.

Entergy New Orleans officials have blamed the increase on a combination of hot temperatures and rising natural gas prices.

“(Natural gas prices) were 200% higher this summer, so that did impact our customers,” said Sandra Diggs-Miller, vice president of customer service.

She told WDSU that customers with past-due balances should contact the utility company immediately.

“We don’t know what we can do to help you unless we hear from you,” said Diggs-Miller. “There are things that we can work with customers on, but they have to reach out to us so that we can understand their personal situation and then what we can do to help.”

Entergy New Orleans can be reached by phone at 1-800-Entergy or in person at one of their two walk-in locations. One is located in MidCity at 3400 Canal St., and the other is at 4201 Behrman Highway, in Algiers.

Local nonprofits are also encouraging residents to reach out to the utility for help because their resources are being stretched thin by increasing demand.

Total Community Action offers Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program, or LIHEAP, funding through the state, as well as other utility assistance programs. However, access manager Selton Jones told WDSU that they currently have a waiting list of 500 to 600 people.

“This will probably be the first time where on the first (of the month), we are not that agency you can come to to get that help, unfortunately,” said Jones. “The funds are just not entirely there for us to accept new applications until those funds have been released by the state.”

The city of New Orleans also announced two utility assistance events this week for people who need help paying their power bills.

The question many are asking is when energy prices will start to drop.

Eric Smith, the associate director of the Tulane Energy Institute, said prices will likely remain high but should increase at a lower rate as we head toward the end of the year.

“What I try to tell people is Louisiana has some of the cleanest and lowest cost of electricity and natural gas in the world, never mind just in the United States,” said Smith. “We may be complaining about a price that people in England haven’t seen in 30 years.”

He said the United States has plenty of natural gas at its disposal, but that access to that supply is often impacted by regulations set by whoever is in political power at the time.

Entergy New Orleans provided the following information for customers who are still struggling to pay their utility bills:

  • Entergy New Orleans partners with third-party agencies that provide utility bill assistance for seniors, individuals with disabilities, and programs that are income-based. Through Entergy’s The Power to Care program, local nonprofit agencies provide emergency bill payment assistance to seniors and disabled individuals. Please call the New Orleans Council on Aging at 504-821-4121 for information.
  • Customers can receive incentives for installing energy-efficient upgrades through the Energy Smart program. Examples of eligible energy efficiency upgrades available at little to no cost include LED bulbs, smart thermostats, AC tune-ups, duct sealing and insulation. In addition, customers can schedule a free in-home energy audit.
  • Customers are also encouraged to use the myAdvisor tool on myentergy.com to manage their energy usage. The usage and cost tool can compare usage history by month, day and hour.
  • Qualifying customers may receive a one-time $500 direct credit towards their Entergy New Orleans bill through the United for Grocery Workers Relief Fund. Additional information can be found by visiting www.unitedwaysela.org/Grocery.
  • Rental customers who have received an eviction notice may qualify for utility bill assistance through the city of New Orleans. Visit nola.gov/community-development/emergency-rental-assistance/ for more information.

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