State utilities exorcising ghost charges

    Starting in 2026, Louisiana’s utility companies will no longer be able to bill customers for “ghost charges” under a conservation program, The Center Square reports.

    The energy efficiency program’s management will instead be transferred to a neutral, state-appointed third-party administrator. The ghost charges were added to customers’ bills as utilities estimated how much they saved customers and then charged them for those savings.

    Nonprofit Together Louisiana estimates the charges have hit customers to the tune of $37 million.

    The state’s investor-owned utilities opposed the new energy efficiency program. Entergy said in a filing from July about the program that only a few states use a third-party system and that the proposed program could provide an administrative burden to the utilities. Entergy also said the proposed program lacks “any measures for accountability and transparency, as there are no cost-effectiveness requirements or energy savings targets.”

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