Sources from Nola.com state that New Orleans residents who are experiencing financial struggles as a consequence of COVID-19 will have their utility bills covered by Entergy for four months, due to a program the City Council announced.
"The economic consequences of this pandemic have created an unprecedented crisis for this community. That is why I believe we need to have an unprecedented response to give a lifeline to our most impacted people," City Councilwoman Helena Moreno said.
Officials at a meeting on Thursday titled the program City Council Cares, in hopes that it will be formally approved next month to give Entergy time to gather what is needed. With evidence of unemployment, local customers can qualify for a $400 credit that could be applied over the four months. Entergy is pausing shut-offs and waving late fees for their customers.
This program will provide $100 credit per month for four months to citizens who can verify they are unemployed. Entergy New Orleans will provide around $22 million to cover the costs. According to the Louisiana Workforce Commission, over 80,000 New Orleanians have filled for unemployment since March 21.
Since 40 percent of Entergy's customers have fallen behind on their bills since the start of the pandemic, it seems appropriate to provide help for those in need. Officials say that the utility company offers electricity for over 200,000 customers and natural gas for 110,000 patrons.