Entergy Mississippi says rates to drop in July

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) - Entergy Mississippi says its customers will see a 12% reduction in rates during the July through September period.

The company says the reduction was due to a decrease in the price of fuels such as natural gas and oil used to generate electricity. The third-quarter reduction follows a 5.5% decrease last quarter.

Last year, natural gas prices doubled, with prices pushing even higher when hurricanes Katrina and Rita damaged 75% of the natural gas wells in the Gulf of Mexico.

The utility said it responded to the increase by switching, when possible, from natural gas to less expensive fuels to power its generating plants.

The company said the move saved customers more than $30 million in fuel costs last year. Entergy Mississippi, a subsidiary of Entergy Corporation, provides electricity to more than 427,000 customers in 45 Mississippi counties.

Entergy also provides electricity to Arkansas, Louisiana and Texas.

(Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)