What does the Public Service Commission have to say about high energy bills?


Lake Charles, LA (KPLC) – A hot topic to be discussed in this week’s public service commission meeting – high energy bills. People across the state are seeing increased bills, with what seems to be no relief in sight.

We recently reached out to viewers to see how their energy bills have changed. Many said they’ve seen their bills double.

Our region’s public service commissioner Mike Francis said that’s likely the main talking point at their upcoming meeting.

“I know the storm recovery is gonna be an interesting topic,” Francis said.

Commissioner Mike Francis told 7News he’s had an influx of calls coming in- asking what his office is doing to provide relief, but said it’s out of his control.

“Our bills have gone up and yes we’re getting a lot of calls thinking that we control the sun and the price of gas and we do not,” Francis said.

He said the high price of fuel and natural gas paired with the extreme summer temperatures are to blame.

“We’re doing everything we can to try to help,” Francis said.

We reached out to viewers about what they’re seeing on their bills, and received hundreds of responses about doubled or even tripled bills. Many are questioning why they’re having to pay a hurricane relief fee.

“The people who use the electricity product have to replace the damage, it’s just that simple, there’s no other way to get money if it comes to an investor owned utility company like Entergy,” Francis said.

Francis said he voted in favor of the fee- and stands by that.

“Absolutely it’s fair. We’ve studied it, we have some of the wisest people on this earth helping us make these decisions. We were able to borrow this money at a very low interest rate to try to save our customers money on the interest we’re gonna pay,” Francis said.

The only commissioner to vote against the fee was district 5′s Foster Campbell.

“First of all I was real disgusted with Entergy’s arrogance,” Campbell said.

Campbell pointed out Entergy’s president recently received a million dollar pay raise.

“He makes more in one hour than some people in Louisiana make in a whole year,” Campbell said.

He said while he does agree people will have to take some of the burden, he thinks Entergy should be helping with the cost.

“They’re the ones not paying. They don’t pay for the damages of the storm, they don’t pay 1 penny,” Campbell said.

Francis said they hope the price of natural gas will come down soon, providing some relief for these Entergy bills.

Francis is up for re-election. Looking to unseat him are Keith Bodin and Shalon Latour.

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