Entergy Texas, Inc. says its customers will continue to see significant improvements in services under a new plan approved last week.

The State Office of Administrative Hearings authorized a new interim rate structure for the company, effective Aug. 15. Under the plan, Entergy Texas will receive an additional $59 million annually in a base rate increase with an additional $9 million increase that will start in May 2011. This interim rate structure replaces one that went into effect in May.

The company expects a final order from the Public Utility Commission of Texas by Nov. l.
“Southeast Texas is moving forward at a rapid pace,” said Joe Domino, president and chief executive officer, Entergy Texas, Inc. “With that growth, our obligation to provide high quality reliable service is growing.”

When the initial interim base rates go into effect, the average 1,000 kilowatt-hour residential bill will increase $6.49 or 5.42 percent.

“Entergy Texas’ record of accomplishment is impressive, particularly in the recovery and restoration periods following Hurricanes Rita and Ike. Future demands will require a financially stable and healthy electric utility,” said Domino. “Approval of the new rate structure will allow us to continue to improve service and bring new innovations to our customers.”

Between April 2007 and June 2009, the company improved reliability by completing $86.5 million in transmission capital projects and $290 million in distribution capital projects. More investments are planned with an additional $620 million in capital projects set for 2010 to 2012. Some of these projects include “storm hardening” in the coastal areas and other areas that are more susceptible to flooding and/or high winds during severe weather events.

Entergy Texas, Inc. provides electricity to more than 400,000 customers in 27 counties. It is a subsidiary of Entergy Corporation. Entergy is an integrated energy company engaged primarily in electric power production and retail distribution operations. Entergy owns and operates power plants with approximately 30,000 megawatts of electric generating capacity, and it is the second-largest nuclear generator in the United States. Entergy delivers electricity to 2.7 million utility customers in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas. Entergy has annual revenues of more than $10 billion and more than 15,000 employees.