Louisiana city to pay $ 2.5 million in rebate to utility customers
Utility customers in a central Louisiana city will soon receive a check in the mail, thanks to a $ 2.5 million royalty refund approved this week by the mayor and council.
“We approved the reimbursement on Tuesday and we will sit down and finalize the percentages,” Vidalia mayor Buz Craft said. “Right now, it looks like we’ll be reimbursing between 45% and 48% of their utility costs for last year. “
Democrat Natchez reported that the board approved Craft’s recommendation to repay the city’s $ 2.5 million in royalties from the Sidney A. Murray Jr. hydroelectric plant, also known as Louisiana Hydroelectric, in the form of discounts for utility customers.
The royalties are generated by the sale of electricity from the plant between July 1, 2020 and July 30, 2021. The city has collected annual royalties on the sales of utilities since the plant came into service in 1990. The city has always had the option to reimburse 50% of utility customer bills if funds are available, although reimbursements have been inconsistent over the years.
The plant sells 94% of the electricity it produces to Entergy of Louisiana and 6% to the town of Vidalia, which sells the electricity back to the Louisiana Energy Power Authority and only buys back what is needed to provide services to consumers. local utility customers, residential and commercial customers who are not exempted by other incentive schemes.
Since 2016, Craft has said the council has refunded a total of $ 5 million to residents of Vidalia, thanks to this year’s royalties. A specific discount amount expected from this year’s royalties was not provided.
“We don’t credit their utility bills… we send them a check, which makes a nice Christmas present,” Craft said.
Craft added that providing royalty refunds is important to him and the board members.
“I am excited for our people and happy for them,” he said. “It’s one of the things that I promised people that we would do, and we are doing it.”
Vidalia is located on the west bank of the Mississippi River, across from Natchez, Mississippi.