Insights > Arctic blast brings record electricity usage

Arctic blast brings record electricity usage


It took only a few short weeks into the new year for Arkansas communities, customers and teams to face the brutal challenge at the hands of Mother Nature. An arctic blast brought snow, sleet, ice and freezing temperatures across Entergy Arkansas’ service territory, yet the power grid remained resilient.

Entergy’s electric grid sustained its highest ever winter peak load during recent winter storms, meaning customers used more electricity at a given point in time than ever before during cold-weather months.

Entergy Arkansas customers exceeded their previous all-time peak load set during the winter of 2021.

Despite the record-breaking power usage, Entergy’s fleet provided ample generation to meet the energy load and kept reserves well above real-time power demand. The interconnecting transmission system, which moves electricity from our generators to your communities for use, remained secure.

While severe storms did cause localized outages, Entergy Arkansas crews responded quickly to minimize customer impacts. Approximately 1,020 resources were activated for storm response and an estimated 40,000 customer outages were avoided during the storms.

More importantly, what customers did not see was the amount of work behind the scenes the Entergy Arkansas’ power delivery team managed to ensure the system performed as expected. Specifically, the power delivery team actively monitored and balanced the energy load strategically across the state through proactive measures, such as balancing loads on the distribution grid and adjusting settings on electronic devices. These measures helped save customers a total of 9 million minutes of potential outage time.

In the spring of 2023, devastating tornadoes ravaged utility equipment across Arkansas. Crews rebuilt the electric system with upgraded wire, thicker and stronger wooden poles, and concrete poles in some areas, to harden system infrastructure and to make it more resilient against future storms. They also implemented the design change to vertically constructed framing.

Entergy Arkansas recognizes that the intensity and frequency of major storms are increasing which is why the company is taking an accelerated approach to storm hardening and building resilience into the electric system. Building electrical infrastructure strong enough to withstand the increased strength of storms is important to reduce risk to its customers and communities. Building back stronger will provide reliable power well into the future and help communities recover more quickly following severe weather events.

The systemwide power generation and delivery performance during the cold spell reflects the strategic investments and planning done over the past year combined with a continued focus on operational excellence. It builds upon Entergy’s performance in 2023, which achieved its best generation fleet performance in over a decade, despite a summer of record-breaking heat.

Not only were we able to keep our customers powered through extreme conditions, but we also helped economically export power to the MISO North/Central regions through the majority of 2023. 

Bill management resources

Entergy is committed to helping our customers before, during and after extreme weather, which is why we offer a variety of bill payment assistance and energy efficiency programs to help customers stay comfortable and keep their bill affordable.   

We offer several billing and payment options to fit your needs. Choose when, where and how you pay your utility bill with our bill management resources, which include:   

  • Understanding my bill: We redesigned the Entergy bill to help make it easier to understand. Learn more at
  • Level billing: We average bills over a rolling 12-month period, so you have a more consistent bill each month of the year. Enroll at
  • Pick-A-Date: Choose what day of the month you get billed to line up with your budget and cash flow. Learn more at
  • PaperFREE: Get your bill delivered directly to your email as soon as it posts. Learn more at
  • AutoPay: Avoid late fees, writing checks and paying for postage by having your bills automatically deducted from your bank account. Learn more at  

Resources for customers in need   

For customers experiencing financial hardship, we offer a variety of bill assistance options, including:   

  • The Power to Care: Through a network of nonprofit agencies, The Power to Care helps pay utility bills of those facing extreme temperatures with no way to stay warm in the winter and cool in the summer. Learn more at  
  • Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program: Funded through the federal government, LIHEAP helps low-income households meet their home energy costs by making payments on the customers’ behalf directly to energy suppliers. Visit to learn how to apply for assistance.  
  • Deferred payment: Talk with us about your situation and we may be able to make deferred payment arrangements. Request a deferred payment arrangement through myEntergy or by calling 1-800-ENTERGY (1-800-368-3749) and following our automated response system menu. 
  • Payment extension: Qualifying customers who need a few extra days to pay their bill can request an extension through myEntergy or by calling 1-800-ENTERGY (1-800-368-3749) and following our automated response system menu.  

The Entergy app is also available for Android and iPhone operating systems at and can be used for your convenience to pay bills, monitor your usage and more.

Arkansas Editorial Team