October 23, 2019

Jared C. Brossett

Council Committee Recommends $1 Million Fine for Entergy New Orleans for Reliability Problems

Council Committee Recommends $1 Million Fine for Entergy New Orleans for Reliability Problems

NEW ORLEANS - During today's Council's Utility, Cable, Telecommunications and Technology Committee (UCTTC) meeting, Councilmember Jared Brossett and committee members addressed the long-running Entergy New Orleans (ENO) system reliability problems responsible for numerous electric outages that plagued the city during 2014 through 2017. The UCTTC voted unanimously finding that ENO had not acted prudently in the maintenance and repair of its electric distribution system, and recommended that the full Council fine the company one million dollars for its lapses.

In June 2017, prompted by an unusually high number of constituent complaints about power outages, Councilmember Brossett sent a strongly worded letter to ENO demanding that the utility provide detailed information explaining the specific problems and causes of the outages, which were occurring "during what appears to be normal electric system operations and during ... lesser storm events."

Following up on Brossett's letter, the UCTTC held two meetings at which ENO was unable to provide satisfactory information about the increase in outages and why they were mostly caused by ENO equipment failures.

As a result, the Committee recommended, and the Council ordered, that the Council's utility advisors conduct a prudence investigation to determine if ENO had acted properly in maintaining its distribution system. Prudence investigations are used by utility regulators to determine if a utility acted appropriately in response to specific circumstances, such as repeated power outages not related to extreme weather.

The investigation occurred over the last year and resulted in a series of findings that supported that ENO did not act prudently in preventing and reacting to the numerous outages. The UCTTC also concluded that a fine of $1 million was the appropriate penalty.

"ENO has a primary obligation to provide reliable electric service to its customers. The investigation confirmed my concerns that they were not living up to this obligation. As a result, tens of thousands of residents, businesses and visitors were severely inconvenienced over the course of several years. I think the fine recommended will go a long way to assuring that will never happen again," said Councilmember Brossett.




Domonique Dickerson
Chief of Staff
Councilmember Jared C. Brossett, Chair of Budget/Audit/BoR Committee

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