Entergy Arkansas gives $1.8 million for bill assistance programs

by Jeff Della Rosa ([email protected]) 365 views 

Little Rock-based Entergy Arkansas will expand its corporate contributions by $1.8 million and implement measures to help customers pay their bills amid high electricity demand, according to a Thursday (Aug. 18) news release.

Through September, Entergy Arkansas will provide credits for late fees for residential customers and credit fees for residential customers who pay with credit cards.

“We understand the economic challenges our customers and communities are currently facing,” said Ventrell Thompson, Entergy Arkansas vice president of customer service. “We are doing more to help our customers, especially the most vulnerable and those who have trouble making ends meet.”

Following are some of the contribution recipients and bill assistance measures:

  • Increase contributions for bill assistance to The Power to Care, an Entergy Arkansas program administered by the Salvation Army to help qualified elderly and disabled customers pay bills
  • Provide money to the Arkansas Community Action Agencies Association for bill assistance
  • Offer bill assistance to asset-limited, income-constrained, employed (ALICE) customers across the state through the United Way
  • Give grants for fans through the Beat the Heat program and help customers apply for the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program.

Entergy Arkansas also will organize energy efficiency and weatherization events in neighborhoods and offer energy efficiency kits and weatherization to homes. Additionally, the company plans to donate food and school supplies.

On June 24, energy consumption across all Entergy service areas in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas reached a high of nearly 22,000 megawatts, breaking the record set in July 2021.

According to the National Weather Service, Arkansas had 13 days of at least 100-degree temperatures in July, and the average high temperature was the warmest since 2012 and the ninth warmest on record. On Aug. 15, the high temperature of 104 in Little Rock tied the record set on Aug. 15, 1943.

More than half of a customer’s annual electricity bill can be attributed to central heat and air conditioning units. According to Entergy, when a customer turns down a thermostat to below 78 degrees, the bill could be as much as 3% to 5% higher for each degree cooler. For customers that keep the thermostat at 68 degrees, their usage could be as much as 30% higher.

Energy Arkansas, a subsidiary of New Orleans-based Entergy Corp., has 728,000 customers in 63 counties.

On Tuesday (Aug. 16), Southwestern Electric Power Co. announced measures to help customers pay bills as energy costs rise and electricity demand increases.