BATON ROUGE, La. — Entergy's Louisiana subsidiaries have announced the suspension of all account disconnections in response to Gov. John Bel Edwards' declared heat emergency, effective through September 9. The decision, unveiled on Monday, ensures that no customer accounts will face disconnection due to non-payment during the ongoing emergency.
Entergy's subsidiaries, operating under the purview of the Public Service Commission for Entergy Louisiana and the New Orleans City Council for Entergy New Orleans, will closely monitor updates from the National Weather Service. These updates will guide the determination of any potential extensions to the suspension beyond the initial September 9 deadline. At a minimum, disconnections will remain on hold during National Weather Service excessive heat advisories, according to an Entergy statement.
Last week, the Public Service Commission became aware that Entergy Louisiana had initiated power disconnections for customers in the Monroe area due to bill nonpayment. This action was taken as temperatures, which had previously soared into the triple digits, moderated to the lower 90s amid drier weather conditions. A senior company executive acknowledged that state regulations had provided the latitude for utilities to execute power cutoffs; however, services were swiftly reinstated following customer complaints.
Entergy's decision to halt disconnections comes against the backdrop of a relentless heatwave gripping Louisiana and much of the Southern United States. Edwards declared a statewide heat emergency on August 14, underlining that the state had already experienced 16 heat-related fatalities during the months of June and July. The emergency status affords Louisiana officials access to critical resources to address the escalating heat's impact on water supplies and agricultural activities.
Meteorologists are projecting that the oppressive heat will maintain its grip on Louisiana well into the month of September.