Changes are coming for Mississippi power customers - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Changes are coming for Mississippi power customers

MS Power customers will recieve a refund of the rate increase they paid since 2013. (Photo source: WLOX News) MS Power customers will recieve a refund of the rate increase they paid since 2013. (Photo source: WLOX News)
SOUTH MISSISSIPPI (WLOX) -

This week the Mississippi Supreme Court said it would not hold a rehearing on a decision that the Public Service commission improperly approved a rate hike for Mississippi Power to pay for the Kemper County Facility. So what happens now?

The ruling means Mississippi Power will have to cancel an 18 percent rate increase put in place back in 2013 and refund customers the $257 million already collected from it.

Southern District Public Service Commissioner Steve Renfroe said while getting money back may seem like a good thing for customers in the long run it will likely mean another rate increase and a much higher one.

Last month, Missisippi Power issued three proposals to the PSC to pay for the plant.

The first one, would have seen the smallest rate increase to customers, with a $6 to $9 increase for customers using 1,000 kilowatt hours per month.

That increase would not have taken effect until the facility was up and running.

But that plan was contingent on the Supreme Court overturning the order to refund the 2013 increase and isn't likely to happen now.

That leaves two other proposals. One which would ultimately see customers paying $34 more for using 1,000 kilowatt hours a month. The other would have an increase of $37 a month for using the same amount of electricity. If approved, either of those plans could take effect before the Kemper County facility is complete.

Commissioner Renfroe said no action has been taken on any of the proposals and the commission is waiting on a recommendations from their staff.

Renfroe said it's not a matter of if the money gets collected, but when because the lignite plant has to be paid for. The Public Service Commission will meet on July 7 to discuss the proposals.

You can view that hearing on the commission's web site.

And on Sunday's WLOX News This Week we'll have an interview with Tom Blaton, the man who originally brought a lawsuit against the power company.

Copyright 2015 WLOX. All rights reserved.

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