Q. I see an energy charge, demand charge and a fuel charge on my bill. Why are you triple charging me for electricity?
A. On a non-residential account your electric service is divided into three components, a demand charge, an energy charge and a fuel charge. The demand charge reflects the maximum requirement for electricity as measured in 15 or 30 minute intervals (depending on the Entergy company providing your service). This can be likened to installing a water pipe to your home. The wider the pipe the more water is capable of being delivered (i.e., capacity). That is what your demand charge measures, your maximum delivery of kilowatts during a 15 or 30-minute interval.
Your energy charge reflects how many kilowatt hours you consumed during the entire billing period. It would be likened to how much water passed through your pipe for the billing period. The energy charge is determined by the number of kilowatt hours you consumed multiplied by an energy charge per kWh. The charge represents the non-fuel cost to produce these kilowatt hours (i.e. cost of generating plants and power lines).
Finally, the fuel charge is merely a pass through cost for any purchased power and the fuel needed to generate the required energy output. There is no markup on fuel. Entergy charges what it pays for the fuel and purchased power necessary to meet your energy requirements.
Q. How do you determine the demand charge?
A. Entergy New Orleans employs a specialized meter that records kilowatt demand in 15 minute increments which allows us to determine the highest kilowatt used in a billing period. The length of your billing period varies depending on the jurisdiction serving your account. The period’s peak demand (kilowatt) is multiplied by a demand charge to arrive at your demand charge amount. See Tariffs.
Q. My business is closing part of our operations and we have reduced operations by three-quarters over the last four months. Yet my electric bill, especially the demand charge, remains nearly the same as before we reduced operations. What is wrong here?
A. There are many variables that contribute to your energy consumption. Although you closed most of your operations, have all your machines, pumps, heating and cooling systems, lighting, computer operations been fully curtailed as well? Also, many Entergy tariffs allow recovery of capacity provision expense (i.e., providing you the maximum amount of electricity capacity that you require) over an annual period. Hence, your demand charge may be established on a previous peak and this peak demand will remain in effect through out the recovery period (in most cases a year). You should avoid establishing a new peak demand during this transition period. Doing so will help reduce your monthly bill sooner.
What is Summary (Collective) Billing?
A. Summary (Collective) Billing is an Entergy service for businesses that have three or more operations (e.g., manufacturing or assembly plants, stores, distribution centers, schools, etc.) within a specific Entergy operating company, like Entergy New Orleans. The business customer’s electric bills are collectively rolled up to and presented once a month as a master bill that contains each individual account’s details. To remain a collective billing customer the business must pay their bill by the due dates indicated on the master bill.