NEW ORLEANS – Entergy’s Louisiana utilities are encouraging customers to prepare for cold weather and increased energy usage as portions of Louisiana could see low or freezing temperatures into the weekend and next week. Instead of cranking up the thermostat when the temperatures drop, customers can take some free or low-cost steps to help save energy and money on their utility bill.
In the South, hot weather and air conditioners traditionally increase energy consumption, but extremely cold weather also contributes to increased usage. Heating costs can account for more than 50% of a customer’s monthly energy usage. It takes more energy to heat a home in extreme temperatures, and if there are consecutive days of cold temperatures, customers may use more energy, leading them to higher than normal bills.
Customers should continue to monitor weather reports and have a plan in place for handling the colder-than-normal conditions.
How to Manage Energy Usage
With people spending more time at home due to the pandemic and colder than average temperatures, electricity consumption has increased for customers across the state. Since there is cold weather predicted in the forecast, there are a few easy things customers can do to help manage their energy consumption and keep costs down.
If customers have had their new advanced meter installed, they can login to myEntergy to manage and track their energy usage. Customers no longer have to wait until the end of the month to view their energy usage. Shortly after meters are installed, customers can log into their account and view their daily electricity usage. Residential customers can view their usage in 15-minute increments. Advanced meters are designed to provide customers with more timely usage information so that they can make necessary adjustments to reduce consumption if they choose to, which could reduce their electric bill.
Additionally, customers can follow simple energy-saving tips like setting the thermostat to 68 degrees or lower, reversing ceiling fans to push warm air down into the room and insulating doors and windows. In fact, every degree above 68 degrees can increase the bill by about 3%. So, if you crank it up to 78 degrees, for example, you could add an additional 30% to your bill.
Bill Payment Assistance
If a high bill has already arrived, customers can get help managing their costs or even paying the bill using one of the following:
Deferred Payment Arrangement – Customers experiencing financial hardship due to the pandemic are eligible to take up to 12 months to pay their current bill and/or unpaid balances.
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.
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. Visit https://www.entergy.com/care for additional information.
LIHEAP – The Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program provides money to help people with energy bills and other energy-related expenses. LIHEAP is funded through the federal government and works with community action agencies to help customers pay for and keep electric service in their homes. For information on how to apply for assistance, Entergy Louisiana customers can call 1-888-454-2001 or visit cdn.entergy-louisiana.com. Entergy New Orleans customers can call 504-324-8609 or visit https://www.tca-nola.org/services-2/energy-services/.
For those struggling to pay their utility bills due to the pandemic, Entergy Louisiana and Entergy New Orleans have flexible payment arrangements through its Enhanced Customer Assistance plan. Customers with past-due accounts should contact the company as soon as possible. Entergy has several self-service options for setting up payment arrangements that they can access 24 hours a day:
Visit www.entergylouisiana.com/bill-help or www.entergyneworleans.com/bill-help;
Select ‘deferred payment’ on the free Entergy mobile app
Call 1-800-ENTERGY (1-800-368-3749). Press “3” to follow the automated response billing and payment menu.
Customers who need extra assistance can speak with an agent during normal business hours. Call 1-800-ENTERGY (1-800-368-3749) Monday through Friday between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m.
Entergy New Orleans, LLC is an electric and gas utility that serves Louisiana’s Orleans Parish. The company provides electricity to more than 200,000 customers and natural gas to more than 108,000 customers.
Entergy Louisiana, LLC provides electric service to more than 1 million customers and natural gas service to more than 93,000 customers in the greater Baton Rouge area. It has operations in southern, central and northern Louisiana. Both companies are subsidiaries of Entergy Corporation.
Entergy Corporation is an integrated energy company engaged primarily in electric power production and retail distribution operations. Entergy owns and operates power plants with approximately 30,000 megawatts of electric generating capacity, including 8,000 megawatts of nuclear power. Entergy delivers electricity to 2.9 million utility customers in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas. Entergy has annual revenues of $11 billion and approximately 13,600 employees.