Freezing Temps Can Mean Higher Energy Bills


Entergy Offers Some Tips, Ideas to Help Manage Costs

NEW ORLEANS – Jack Frost dropped by a bit early this year, and that could mean higher-than-normal utility bills for New Orleans-area customers.

“We’re used to lower bills during the normally mild fall season, but this early taste of winter is a good reminder to everyone that when the thermostat is cranked up, bills rise too,” said Melonie Stewart, director of customer service.

Weather is an important factor in determining how high or low energy bills may be. In fact, heating and air conditioning make up more than half of the total energy bill. Entergy encourages all customers to take advantage of convenient payment options and energy-saving tips to manage their monthly costs.

“With the official start of winter still weeks away, it’s a good bet we can expect more cold weather in our future and potentially higher-than-normal utility bills. So now is a good time to sign up for one of Entergy’s convenient tools to help manage those costs,” Stewart said.

One payment option that can help customers manage their budgets during extreme weather is Level Billing, which calculates their billing history over the previous 12 months and allows customers to pay an average amount each month. It helps manage the spikes in energy costs caused by extreme weather.

Other options that can be found at include:

· Pick-A-Date, which allows customers to choose the date when their bills are due.

· Automatic Monthly Payments, which save customers the trouble of writing and mailing checks.

To stay comfortable and save energy when the temperatures drop, here are some helpful tips:

· Turn the heat down – During winter months, keep the thermostat set on 68 degrees. Each degree warmer will increase your bill by about 3 percent.

· Blanket your water heater – Heating water for cooking, cleaning, laundry and bathing is the second-largest energy user in homes. Insulating blankets for electric water heaters are inexpensive and readily available at any home-improvement store. These will make a difference in your energy bill.

This early cold snap also gives customers time to make their homes more energy efficient before additional cold weather heads our way. For more information about Energy Smart, a New Orleans program that offers incentives and rebates on a variety of energy-efficiency upgrades that make homes more comfortable and greener year-round, visit

If you’re more a do-it-yourself person, you can find general energy-saving tips and tools online at for either no-cost or low-cost tips, an energy calculator, do-it-yourself videos and more.

For customers struggling to pay winter energy bills, Entergy New Orleans assists elderly and disabled low-income customers through its customer-assistance fund, The Power to Care. The fund is administered by the local Council on Aging and is funded by Entergy employees, customers and shareholders. To find out how to get assistance, or to contribute to the fund, visit or check the donation box on your monthly bill.

Entergy New Orleans, Inc. is an electric and gas utility that serves Louisiana’s Orleans Parish. The company provides electricity to more than 169,000 customers and natural gas to more than 100,000 customers. Entergy New Orleans is a subsidiary 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 more than 10,000 megawatts of nuclear power, making it one of the nation’s leading nuclear generators. Entergy delivers electricity to 2.8 million utility customers in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas. Entergy has annual revenues of more than $11 billion and approximately 14,000 employees.

Twitter: @EntergyNOLA