Entergy's environmental management policy includes measures to protect and sustain natural resources, including air, water, and wildlife habitats. Reducing our water use and conserving water resources are priorities for Entergy. We look for opportunities to reduce water use in our operations while evaluating water availability and ensuring compliance with state and local permits and requirements.
Entergy protects water resources by maintaining a compliance rate with state and federal permit requirements of at least 99 percent from year to year with permit limits related to water discharges and aquatic ecology protection. For example, at the Lewis Creek Plant in Willis, Texas, a water-constrained area, we work with the water conservation district to optimize water use, gaining best practices that can help us use water wisely throughout our operations.
In addition, fleet modernization minimizes our impact on water as newer plants use significantly less water than our legacy units. We also evaluate water risks from flooding as sea-level rises, coastal erosion, and subsidence in our coastal service area impact our region.
- Our Water Management Overview provides details of our actions.
- Our Water Management Standard is available here.
- Information on Entergy’s water use is available here.
- Information on Entergy’s water permit exceedances, representing a compliance rate of 99.9% each year, is available here.
Information on Entergy’s water performance is available:
Entergy is participating in CDP Water – 2020. When complete, our report will be available here.
Our sustainability strategy is outlined in our annual integrated report, which combines our sustainability actions with our financial results. One area featured is Entergy’s commitment to the sustainable management and efficient use of natural resources.
We meet this commitment in many ways, including partnering with our regulators to manage waste responsibly for the benefit of the environment and our communities. To address waste management and minimization, Entergy maintains a standard that outlines our basic philosophy and expectations. We reduce waste by repurposing or recycling unused or obsolete material such as scrap wire and metal. Entergy managed nearly 83 percent of our coal ash for beneficial use in 2019, which is significantly higher than the industry average. Coal ash is an excellent construction material that can be used as fill for stabilization projects, such as roadbeds, and to replace Portland cement. Excluding coal ash and hazardous waste, Entergy recycled approximately 718 tons of industrial waste in 2019.
Data on our recycling actions can be found in our Performance Data Table.
We're also benefiting our customers and the environment by providing more online, self-service tools that reduce reliance on paper bills and communications. These transactions, which include web, text message and interactive voice response, now represent nearly 53 percent of our customers' transactions. In 2019, we met our target goal of approximately 995,000 customers opting for paper-free electronic billing, an option that not only meets customers' needs but also helps reduce environmental impacts. Electronic billing represents more than $5.4 million in annual operational savings versus providing paper bills.
More on our supply chain sustainability practices is available here.
Environmental compliance is a basic tenet of our comprehensive environmental strategy and our Environmental Management System. Entergy maintains a forward-looking environmental management policy that extends beyond a dedication to environmental compliance. Our policy also commits us, among other things, to practice sustainability in all that we do, not only through our environmentally responsible behavior but also through our support of initiatives that promote local and global prosperity.
We validate EMS and environmental performance through annual third-party audits and provide transparency to our stakeholders through extensive environmental performance reporting. Material fines or penalties imposed for environmental non-compliance are disclosed in Entergy's SEC Form 10-K. Information on Entergy spills reported to the National Response Center can be reviewed online.
Entergy also embraces energy efficiency as a strategy to protect and conserve natural resources while producing environmental benefits. In 2002, we established our portfolio transformation strategy to better meet customers’ needs by replacing older, less efficient generation with cleaner, more efficient resources. Since establishing this strategy, we have replaced roughly 30 percent of our generation resources with cleaner, more efficient resources that not only produce significantly fewer emissions but also require less water.
Additionally, energy efficiency and demand-side management programs are effective ways to partner with customers to help them manage usage and costs while providing societal benefits. The objectives of these offerings are to reduce the overall cost of meeting energy resource needs, to provide customers with attractive options to reduce their energy consumption, to educate customers about the value of energy efficiency, and to support low-income and sustainability initiatives. We offer energy efficiency programs in all of our service areas, as well as tools to help our customers reduce their energy bills. Currently we offer more than 40 energy-efficiency and demand-side management programs with a stated goal of 990 MW of peak load reduction through 2031.
Since 2002, our utilities have invested more than $600 million to deliver nearly 900 megawatts of peak load reduction and 2.7 million megawatt hours of cumulative energy savings.
Advanced meters are now being installed at customers’ homes and businesses in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas. By the end of 2021, the advanced metering infrastructure is projected to be complete across our entire system, which means approximately 3 million customers will then have access to better energy management tools and other benefits. Learn more about advanced meters in our 2019 Integrated Report here.
Learn more about how you can save energy and money for your home or business in your respective location by clicking the link below.
Entergy operating company disclosures of energy efficiency programs, including amounts of energy conserved, are publicly available and can be found at the links below:
- Entergy Arkansas - APSC Docket 07-085-TF.
- Entergy Louisiana - LPSC Docket No. R-31106.
- Entergy Mississippi - MPSC Docket No. 20l4-UA-006.
- Entergy New Orleans - Energy Smart Docket No. UD-08-02.
- Entergy Texas - PUCT Substantive Rule 25.181 and 25.183.
Our utilities own and lease over 25 GW of generation, approximately 16,000 circuit miles of high-voltage transmission lines and 105,000 circuit miles of distribution lines in the southeastern United States — an area susceptible to storms potentially made worse by coastal wetlands loss.
Entergy takes into consideration the resiliency of our assets from design and construction to operations and maintenance. Activities include infrastructure investments and upgrades, participation in the Department of Energy’s Partnership for Energy Sector Climate Resilience, installation of advanced metering infrastructure, and support of and participation in several community and consumer resiliency initiatives.
Entergy believes we have a critical role in increasing the safety, resiliency and sustainability of the communities within our service territory. We are working with stakeholders in all sectors of the economy to take action on carbon emissions, natural sequestration and climate resiliency.
We also know that meaningful and sustainable action requires looking beyond ourselves to make a greater impact. A key part of our sustainability strategy involves advancing constructive discussions to understand the risks associated with changing environmental conditions. Entergy engages our stakeholders and community partners in initiatives to evaluate and deploy adaptation efforts, resiliency investments and natural sequestration opportunities. We also support built-in, permanent protection for low-income customers in greenhouse gas control mechanisms.
We continue to support various actions and collaborations on climate change and adaptation issues to identify the most effective solutions that policymakers can undertake now. In 2010, we sponsored a groundbreaking study, Building a Resilient Energy Gulf Coast, to address adaptation investments and their cost-benefit ratio with regard to avoiding damage from extreme weather. Community forums were conducted in 2011 and 2012 in partnership with America’s WETLAND Foundation. In 2017, we engaged with The Lowlander Center to revisit the 2010 study and recommendations of community forums. In 2018, we supported the foundation’s actions to conduct follow-up community forums to gauge progress since the original Blue Ribbon Resilient Community. In 2019 and 2020, Entergy continued to engage communities through forums focused on climate resiliency in Terrebonne and Cameron parishes.
Because of the large concentration of existing industrial activity and strong industrial growth in the regions we serve, we are uniquely positioned to partner with customers in other industries such as manufacturing, ports, and transportation to help them reduce their own emissions by electrifying their energy needs and operations. For example, electrification of marine vessels allows them to plug into the land-based electrical power grid while at berth instead of burning diesel fuel. In 2020, our first shore-power project went into service and is expected to result in significant reductions of localized emissions. We believe we have significant opportunities for shore-power projects as seven of the 20 largest ports in the nation are in our service area.
Through Entergy’s Electric Technology Program, known as eTech, we partner with customers to promote the adoption of electric-powered alternatives to many applications that traditionally require fossil fuels. This includes incentives to purchase electric vehicles and charging infrastructure. Electric-powered technologies offer several key benefits to end-users over existing technologies, including reduced maintenance, lower fuel consumption, increased workplace safety and efficiency, less noise, and cleaner and healthier work environments. We also established the Power Drive program to purchase electric vehicles and install charging infrastructure at Entergy facilities.