One of the first, most important questions large industrial businesses ask before expanding in our region is: What will my rate be?
Getting the best answer – the most favorable rate – requires collaboration between the business customer and Entergy’s Contract Support team. Together we consider a potential customer’s energy needs, such as its operating characteristics and requirements, timing of new electric load, as well as the availability of applicable rate and riders, including those for economic incentives.
It sounds complex, because it is. But Entergy fast tracks the process so business customers can make decisions and get their project moving. And it helps that we have a great deal of experience in large industrial rate contracting, especially due to the concentration of the petrochemical industry in our region and a history of working with such large and complex customer needs.
Once a business initiates a conversation with Entergy about a new project, we bring all the experts to the table, including the Contract Support team, which I serve on, and the larger corporate Business Development team we are a part of. Having all the needed information, resources and expertise together at the outset of a project is our efficient, effective way of arriving at a solution that meets a customer’s short and long-term business goals.
I’ll give you some examples of how this works to the business customer’s advantage.
I came to Entergy as a young lawyer and worked 15 years on the regulatory side of the utility, then moved into my current role on the contract side in 2014. Like me, most members of the interdisciplinary Business Development team of approximately fifteen have 20+ years of experience working in different areas of Entergy.
We work together, face-to-face. The contract team and engineering teams do not work on separate floors. For example, if I have a technical question that has to be addressed in a contract, I don’t have to get on the elevator. I just walk down the hall to consult with our Large Project Services team.
The sooner a business calls on us for help, the better. It puts us in a good position to offer different scenarios and provide information that the business representatives can share with their management teams and investors on the source and availability of electricity, which may include Entergy’s construction of a substation. Knowing this early helps businesses assess the financial risk of a proposed project.
Recently, we were meeting with a foreign company considering locating a new project in the United States. Their question about rates was of particular concern to them, because in their country, they make their own power and are not used to having to contract for power through a utility. So naturally, they were concerned about not having complete control and the business risk.
This company, like most considering their first move into this region, was not familiar with the regulatory environment and contracting details. At this meeting, there were four members of our team (Contract Support and Large Project Services) answering all their technical, rate, regulatory and contract related questions and addressing the planning, engineering, as well as the day-to-day administration and billing.
They were pleasantly surprised to have access to key players in one room sharing information, talking through problems and delivering solutions and answers – all in the time frame of one meeting.
Another recent example of how we work to accommodate and support specific needs in an industry is our work on behalf of a Liquified Natural Gas customer. Based on the customer’s projected electric loads and operating characteristics, our team worked within Entergy to help develop a new rate schedule for this type of customer that would optimize the customer’s energy costs.
Additionally, our team worked within the regulatory process to file the new rate, which was approved, providing an option that would benefit similar industries coming into our region.
Agribusiness, Automotive Manufacturing, Chemical Products, Data Centers, Distribution and Warehousing, Energy Services & Manufacturing, Food Processing, Metal Fabrication, Primary Metals, Wood and Paper Products