Rising energy prices are hurting families across the state

BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) – Some of the energy companies are charging you folks astronomical amounts compared to what you’re used to paying. When it comes to your power, some of you told us, even switching up the temperature in your house hasn’t seemed to make much of a difference on your bill.

At the beginning of June, Entergy announced they would be increasing charges on your monthly bill due to the rising cost of natural gas and recent severe storms. Here we are in mid-July and some of you are still feeling the heat trying to keep up with those higher bills. Many of you have shared your situations on social media.

“I’m getting those same calls, in fact, someone posted their bill for $1,200 today and they haven’t even been home,” said state Rep. Denise Marcelle (D).

Entergy says they saw record-setting usage for the months of May and June, another reason for the price hikes. Some of you have taken their advice to set your A/C to the mid 80′s while you’re away from home and claim to have still had an increase.

“I am reaching out to Entergy to figure out what’s going on, I’ve actually told some people to go to levelized billing, some people told me they were told they couldn’t even do that,” Rep. Marcelle continued.

But it’s not just Entergy, folks with companies like Demco and others are also seeing increases. But there is help out there.

“Absolutely, it’s something that many of us have been feeling right now, this increase in our utility bills. Now what we have always offered through our office of social services has been utility assistance if you meet certain income requirements,” said Chief Communications Director for the EBR Mayor’s office.

Your family would have to meet the requirements you see on your screen. A household of 4 would only qualify if they bring in $4,000 dollars a month or less.

“And if you can prove that with documentation you certainly could apply but there is a waiting list. If you do have an emergency situation where the cutoff is eminent and you meet these income requirements you have the documentation, there are steps we can take to try and stop that disconnect from happening,” Armstrong added.

If you earn too much money to qualify for that assistance, but still need help tackling your rising bills, there are local charities that offer help. But until the price of natural gas comes down and temperatures cool off, your hands may be tied.

“We feel the public’s pain because we’re experiencing it as well. And we’re getting the phone calls down at our office of social services for people who are wanting the assistance all the time and it’s something we’ve been feeling really since the pandemic but particularly this summer,” Armstrong added.

Rep. Marcelle says she has not started to draft up legislation around this for the next regular session until she hears from the company’s themselves to explain what the problem is. Those of you looking for assistance, see help below:

  • Level Billing – Entergy averages your bill over a rolling 12-month period, so you have a consistent bill each month of the year. Pay about the same every month, with no surprises.
  • Pick-A-Date – Choose what day of the month you get billed to line up with your budget and manage your cash flow.
  • deferred payment – Talk with us about your situation and we may be able to make deferred payment arrangements. Call 1-800-ENTERGY (1-800-368-3749).
  • Payment Extension – Qualifying customers who need additional time to pay their bill can call our automated answering system at 1-800-ENTERGY (1-800-368-3749) or request an extension through myEntergy.
  • Power to Care – Through Entergy’s The Power to Care program, local nonprofit agencies can provide emergency bill payment assistance to seniors and disabled individuals in crisis.
  • LIHEAP – LIHEAP (Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program) is a program that provides money to help people with energy bills and other energy-related expenses. LIHEAP is funded through the federal government and works with the community action agencies to help customers pay for and keep electric service in their homes. For information on how to apply for assistance, visit the Louisiana Housing Corporation’s energy assistance page.
  • Capitol Area United Way- 211 Resource Line: 225-923-2114

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