LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – Higher natural gas prices are expected to impact Entergy customers with an increase to the fuel charge in upcoming bills.

A filing was made with the Arkansas Public Service Commission this week to increase the Energy Cost Recovery (ECR) rate April 1. The ECR accounts for roughly 9% of a residential customer’s total monthly bill.  

The entire bill is not increasing, just part of it. That specific portion will be going up by more than 85%.

The ECR will increase from $0.00959 per kilowatt-hour to $0.01785 per kWh, or from the current rate of just under 1 cent per kWh to 1.8 cents beginning with April 2022 billing. This rate will be effective through March 2023, unless an interim adjustment is needed.

Natural gas has historically been a lower-cost source, officials said. However, natural gas prices were 93% higher in 2021 compared to 2020, according to the industry standard Henry Hub.

That ECR charge appears on the bill as “Fuel and Purchased Power Cost.” It’s normally adjusted each spring and fluctuates depending on changes in the cost of fuel used by Entergy Arkansas to generate electricity and wholesale prices paid for additional electricity.

“The total increase that customers could see on their bill will vary based on their individual energy usage and the kilowatt-hours consumed at their home,” Acting Vice President of Customer Service, Ventrell Thompson said. “Our estimates show, however, that the average residential customer who uses 1,000-kilowatt hours per month will see a total bill increase of 7.5%, or roughly $8.”