So a bunch of non-New Orleanians are wondering why all us NOLA peeps are pissed at Entergy. I mean there was a hurricane and they are working to restore power so why so mad?
Let me show you something:
This is my Entergy bill. See where I’ve highlighted the Emergency Storm Reserve Fund? Yeah. Well that fund is to help Entergy pay to fix the electric grid in the event of a hurricane.
From one of their press releases:
Entergy New Orleans’ request to speed up storm reserve funding will allow it to meet the target established by the City Council of a $75 million balance by 2017. The storm reserve fund is used to help the company respond quickly to restore power after major storms and to reduce the volatility in rates that might otherwise result from storm restoration costs. Funds were withdrawn from the reserve account to help restore storm damage after hurricanes Gustav and Ike in 2008 and tropical storm Lee in 2011.
No biggie even though they are a monopoly and I don’t really care for their customer service I’m ok with paying under $4 a month to make sure they can get my power back on quickly after a storm. So that’s not the problem.
The problem is that Entergy despite having this fund was cheaping out on us. See normally after a storm they have two 12-14 hour shifts working around the clock to get the power back on. This time? One 16 hour shift. They also did not call the crews in (they come from out of state) until AFTER the storm had starting knocking out power. So some of those drivers were driving 16 hours and then had to sleep before they could get to work. (I don’t blame them for that – we all need sleep.) Previously they’d be stationed right outside of the hurricane area waiting for the winds to die down so they could drive in and help us out. So then after driving all this way and getting rest the linemen were stuck waiting in parking lots (I talked to men in the one near I-10 and Morrison) with all their trucks ready to go but Entergy hadn’t finished their contracts yet. Seriously.
So yeah if the rest of the city was like me, they were spending their nights sleeping on their porches in the heat and dark with the mosquitoes swarming while Entergy was busy dropping the ball and their CEO was on the radio joking around about eating microwaved spare ribs and giving lipservice about us being “frustrated”.
Nooo, I’m not frustrated. I’m straight up pissed and I don’t think Entergy needs to be a monopoly here anymore.
EDITED TO ADD: We’ve now had our first heat related death (that we know of). A 90 year old man died in his powerless home in marrero from heat stroke. How very sad.