Mississippi Power may likely refund its customers due to a decision by the Supreme Court of Mississippi. The high court decided that the Mississippi Public Service Commission did not follow proper guidelines in its agreement with Mississippi Power.
At the heart of the issue is what is called the Base Load Act, which is a state law that allows public utilities a new way to finance new power plants.
Although PSC Commissioner Steve Renfroe, the newest Mississippi Commissioner, was not a part of the Commission at the time of the decision, he believes the decision by the PSC was prudent.
Public Service Commissioner Steve Renfroe said the rate increase money was put into an interest-bearing savings account that was designed to help offset monthly rates once Kemper came online in March 2016.
“I’ve looked at this, and even though I was not there at the time the decision was made, the concept I think is valid, and the commission was certainly trying to do a good thing here to lower, over time, lower the overall impact,” said Renfroe.
Renfroe says whether that $2.8 billion comes from the 2013 and 2014 rate hike or is paid after construction is complete, it will still cost Mississippi Power customers.
“It’s not the amount that will be paid, just the timing will be different,” said Renfroe.
Renfroe doesn’t know yet the amount of money or when it will be refunded. The Public Service Commission meets next in the first week of March.
Mississippi Power issued a statement saying their focus remains on developing a solution that is in the best interest of our customers. Additionally, progress continues at the Kemper County energy facility with a focus on start-up activities.
As you know, we [Mississippi Power] put the combined cycle portion of the project in service using natural gas in Aug. 2014 and it’s been running successfully as a part of our fleet’s dispatch for the benefit of our customers.
For the full report, head to WLOX.com.