Data News Staff Edited Report
Last week, Entergy New Orleans (ENO) filed an appeal in Orleans Parish Civil District Court over a previously imposed fine by the New Orleans City Council, making good on their promise to cause “expensive litigation” with ratepayers ultimately burdened by the cost.
In 2019, the New Orleans City Council imposed a $1 million fine on ENO after an extensive investigation determined that the utility provider was producing unreliable and subpar service to the residents of New Orleans. While ENO previously attempted to block the fine imposed by the Council in court, Judge Rachael Johnson remanded the matter back to the Council. In response, the City Council unanimously approved a procedural schedule to consider Judge Johnson’s concerns regarding the penalty amount related to ENO’s failure to maintain its distribution reliability system properly.
“While Entergy’s decision to continue litigation caused by several years of poor reliability performance is disappointing, I cannot say that it is surprising based on the company’s previous actions,” said Council President JP Morrell. “Ageing or poorly maintained equipment that allows a brisk breeze to cut off power for potentially hundreds of residents and businesses, literally leaving them in the dark, is unacceptable. At some point, Entergy New Orleans’ continued avoidance to do right by its ratepayers must end so that accountability may begin.”
“From the beginning, we’ve pursued justice and accountability for the thousands of customers left in the dark unnecessarily due to substandard maintenance on Entergy’s part. And we don’t plan to stop doing so,” said Council Vice President Helena Moreno. “When we began this investigation in 2018, we learned that Entergy’s own third-party assessment confirmed deeply declining reliability performance, therefore proving the need for correction. Instead of working with the Council, the company continues to act to avoid paying the consequences for its own actions. The people of New Orleans deserve better, and we’ll continue to fight on their behalf.”
Read Entergy New Orleans’ filing here.