By Haley Fisackerly
Like most things these days, the material costs related to generating and delivering power have gone up recently. Almost 70 percent of the energy produced by Entergy Mississippi comes from natural gas which has doubled in cost over the last year. Since our natural gas purchases are passed through to customers (with no profit to the company), customer bills have gone up. While our residential rates are still below the U.S. average, Entergy Mississippi is taking real action to reduce these and other inflationary business cost increases to keep them from adversely impacting customers’ power bills. Thankfully, we have help in the form of nuclear and solar power among other things. Here are five of the steps we have taken:
Investing in low-cost nuclear power
To combat our dependence on natural gas, we are investing more in nuclear power. We have upgraded the Grand Gulf Nuclear Station—a 24/7 source of low-cost energy. The plant recently hit all-time station records for power generation. That’s important since Grand Gulf’s energy costs are low and stable creating thousands of dollars of fuel savings per day for our customers over natural gas.
Using more solar power
Our company is also in the midst of adding 1,100 megawatts of large-scale solar power and other renewable resource power to its portfolio—enough to power 176,000 homes. This will increase the diversity of our power generation, lessen the dependence on natural gas and take advantage of the decreasing cost utility-scale solar has seen in recent years. The construction of these solar plants is also benefitting Mississippi communities by creating new jobs and tax revenue.
Transitioning to more efficient natural gas plants
Entergy Mississippi is transitioning from older, less efficient natural gas plants to newer, more modern and efficient generation—helping to keep the costs for our customers lower. In addition, Entergy Mississippi’s participation in a competitive power generation market, the first in state history, continues to create millions of dollars of savings each year that flow directly to our customers.
Ramping up our economic development efforts
Recruiting a new, large power-using industry to our area not only creates new jobs, but also helps keep power rates more affordable for existing customers by spreading the costs associated with providing that power onto a larger customer base. We are ramping up our efforts in this area and, in the last two years alone, we’ve helped recruit thirty-one new and expanded projects in Mississippi that use almost fifty megawatts of power (and have created more than 4,000 new jobs).
Giving customers new tools to save
Entergy Mississippi is not just trying to save more on our end, but also trying to help customers save more on their end, too. We have recently launched a new website where our customers can purchase deeply discounted advanced smart thermostats, lighting products, schedule residential and commercial energy audits and engineered solutions for large industrial customers. Check it out at https://msentergysolutions-marketplace.com/.
The men and women of Entergy Mississippi live and work in this state, too, and understand the strain rising prices can put on families. That is why, in times like these, we are committed to doing everything we can to try to make your power bill one less thing you have to worry about.
Haley Fisackerly is President and CEO of Entergy Mississippi.