July 10, 2024 – The Energy Future New Orleans Coalition (EFNO) has sent a letter to the New Orleans City Council calling upon the Council to address the utility debt crisis that has left New Orleanians powerless. Through the discovery process under docket UD-23-02, we have learned that Entergy New Orleans’ (ENO) residential disconnection rate for 2023 was 19%, meaning nearly one out of every five residents was disconnected last year for inability to pay ENO’s unaffordable bills.

The letter urges the Council to allocate funds from the recent Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) settlement to establish a standing arrearage management program for ENO ratepayers. The terms of the FERC settlement (as established by R-24-194) included a $98M lump sum payment by System Energy Resources, Inc. to ENO. ​

Of that $98M, $32M were designated to be held by ENO as a credit for customers, to be distributed at the direction of the Council in the amount of up to $10M per year.

EFNO has previously urged the Council, under docket UD-23-02, to implement an arrearage management program that pairs incremental debt forgiveness with energy efficiency improvements in ratepayers’ homes. This approach will not only help residents escape utility debt but also ensures they remain debt-free in the future.

We, the members of EFNO, once again call upon the Council to relieve the significant burden of utility debt by devoting this FERC settlement money to the establishment of this crucial arrearage management program. Given the extreme heat that we have experienced already this summer, and the likelihood of an active tropical storm season, it is imperative that the Council act now to protect vulnerable ratepayers from being disconnected from a vital service.

Members of EFNO will be at the regular Council meeting on Thursday, July 11 to urge the Council to act on this proposal and will be available to speak to members of the press.


About Energy Future New Orleans: EFNO is a coalition of diverse people and organizations dedicated to making New Orleans an equitable and renewable energy city for present and future generations. The Deep South Center for Environmental Justice is a member of the EFNO Coalition

About the Deep South Center for Environmental Justice: Families in the Gulf Coast deserve to live in communities that are free from deadly air and are more resilient to climate change and extreme weather. The Deep South Center for Environmental Justice (DSCEJ) works to empower and engage communities to put environmental justice and equity at the center of all climate action. Led by environmental justice scholar and advocate, author, civic leader and professor of Sociology Dr. Beverly L. Wright, the DSCEJ uses research, education, and community and student engagement to advocate for policy change, lead health and safety training for environmental careers, develop social and emotional community wellness programs, and create new and environmentally healthy opportunities for the residents of communities disproportionately impacted by historic environmental injustice.