BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) — Entergy customers should expect to get money back in their wallets after an Entergy subsidiary was found to have overcharged consumers, the Louisiana Public Service Commission (LPSC) announced Wednesday.
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) ordered refunds after finding that Entergy’s subsidiary, System Energy Resources Inc. (SERI), had overcharged consumers for more than two decades, according to the LPSC.
Officials said Entergy customers in Louisiana and Arkansas were overbilled. FERC discovered that SERI “failed to reduce its rate base for taxes it collected from consumers but did not pay to the government because of an ‘uncertain’ tax deduction.” The deduction was for the future cost of decommissioning a nuclear power plant in Mississippi, officials said.
In a statement release earlier this week, Drew Marsh, Entergy’s chief executive officer, said:
“We believe Friday’s FERC orders are a positive step toward resolving a number of long-standing issues raised by our retail regulators. While we disagree with some elements of FERC’s findings, in particular its ruling on the sale leaseback claim, we are pleased that FERC’s remedy results in no additional refunds due to customers beyond those already provided in 2021 on the uncertain tax positions taken by SERI.
“SERI has consistently maintained that its tax strategy was in the best interest of customers and ultimately provided them with millions of dollars in savings. We are committed to working with our regulators to resolve outstanding FERC issues for the benefit of our customers.”
According to the news release from Entergy, the company holds that the remaining refund for uncertain tax positions is zero “for uncertain tax positions that the IRS fully disallowed, and for which SERI received no tax benefits.”
The LPSC said they were taken off guard by Entergy’s “inaccurate announcement” that no additional refunds were required.
“For reasons unknown, Entergy is attempting to mislead its consumers, investors and the public regarding the consequences of FERC’s findings of unjust and unreasonable conduct by SERI,” said LPSC Chairman Lambert Boissiere.
How much in refunds could Entergy customers expect?
The amount in refunds for Entergy customers is around $600 million, according to LPSC. Entergy Louisiana customers would receive $160 million in refunds and Entergy New Orleans customers would receive $190 million in refunds.