Mississippi Power wants a rehearing before it refunds $257M - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Mississippi Power wants a rehearing before it refunds $257M

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) -

One day after the Mississippi Supreme Court ordered Mississippi Power to refund two years of rate increases back to its customers, the company says it will likely file for a rehearing.

In a document filed Friday with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Mississippi Power says it collected approximately $257 million from the rate hikes approved in March 2013. One day ago, the Supreme Court ruled those hikes were illegal, and ordered the power company to rebate that money back to its 186,000 customers.

In the SEC 8-K filing, Mississippi Power says it "continues to analyze the Court's opinion and expects to file for a rehearing. The ultimate outcome of these matters cannot be determined at this time."

The Mississippi Public Service Commission and Mississippi reached a settlement agreement in 2013 that allowed the power company to raise its rates 15 percent that year, and another 3 percent in 2014. Because that settlement agreement was made in private, a majority of the Supreme Court ruled it was "unenforceable."

Mississippi Power CEO Ed Holland said if the company is forced to return the $257 million, it will be forced to request another rate hike.

“Well the PSC may have been the target, but the customers are the ones who are going to suffer from the ruling,” said Holland. “If we have to give the money back now, we're simply going to have to try to recover that when the plant comes on line. We had anticipated that there might be an adverse ruling. We think it's clearly wrong in its legal basis. We will file for a rehearing.”

You can watch the full interview with Holland on Sunday at 8:30 a.m. on WLOX ABC. It will also be posted Sunday on WLOX.com.

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