LA PSC unsure about how to fight rising utility costs

BATON ROUGE, LA (KSLA) - Members of the Louisiana Public Service Commission acknowledged they've got no answers for exploding electricity costs.

The commission met in Baton Rouge to wrestle with the "fuel adjustment charge," which is among the many numbers on every customer's bill.  That charge changes with the market price of fuel and has more than doubled in the last ten months.

The biggest source of fuel for electricity in Louisiana is natural gas.

"We pay for that natural gas and then that price we pay gets passed directly to customer," said Michael Twomey, VP of Regulatory Affairs for Entergy. "We don't make any profit on natural gas. The customer pays exactly what we pay."

Natural gas prices have risen 108% since September 2007, and PSC members say they only expect it to keep rising.

Electric companies say they can't control the market, but the customers can control the amount of electricity they use.