Entergy Arkansas announced Friday that higher natural gas prices will mean an increase to the fuel charge on customer bills. A filing was made with the Arkansas Public Service Commission this week to increase the Energy Cost Recovery (ECR) rate April 1. The ECR accounts for roughly 9 percent of a residential customer’s total monthly bill.
The ECR charges appear on the bill as “Fuel and Purchased Power Cost.” It is normally adjusted each spring and fluctuates depending on changes in the cost of fuel used by Entergy Arkansas to generate electricity and wholesale prices paid for additional electricity.
The ECR will increase from $0.00959 per kilowatt hour to $0.01785 per kWh, or from the current rate of just under 1 cent per kWh to 1.8 cents beginning with April 2022 billing. This rate will be effective through March 2023, unless an interim adjustment is needed.
“The total increase that customers could see on their bill will vary based on their individual energy usage and the kilowatt-hours consumed at their home,” said Ventrell Thompson, acting vice president of customer service. “Our estimates show, however, that the average residential customer who uses 1,000 kilowatt hours per month will see a total bill increase of 7.5 percent, or roughly $8.”
Customers received a decreased ECR rate the last two years, and the 2021 ECR rate currently in effect ($0.00959) is the lowest the rate has been in more than 10 years. Natural gas has historically been a lower cost source, officials said. However, natural gas prices were 93 percent higher in 2021 compared to 2020, according to the industry standard Henry Hub.
Customers who are having trouble paying their bill have several options available, including The Power to Care, Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), level billing, pick-your-date and payment extensions. Call 1-800-ENTERGY to talk with customer service or visit www.entergy-arkansas.com/bill-help.