• 66°

Cutting costs

Electricity, it does so many things that help make our daily lives better. What would we do without it? In general, people would probably perish because they could not survive without it. We have grown so accustomed to life with it, that we cannot live without it. But living with it comes at a cost.

Now, the utility company will give you pointers on how to cut these costs. Some of them are simple, easy items that can be done at a minimal cost like door seals and caulking. Others, like adding insulation to your attic, are a little more expensive. Installing double pane windows can also help, but can be expensive depending on the number of windows.

These initial cost to be able to prepare your house for year round weather can add up. In the long run, does it save you money? Yes, it can. How much money? That’s a different story.

But how do you combat higher cost from utility companies such as Mississippi Power. In the February 23 edition of the Picayune Item on pg. 3A, there was a small article in the left column that reads, “Natural Gas could cost less than coal for Kemper Plant”. If you read the article, the nuts and bolts of it is, “the utility announced it needs more time to complete the $7 billion Kemper plant which is now nearly three years behind schedule and more than $4 billion over budget. Mississippi Power says it will lose another $35 million from the delay, although customers could also be asked to pay more.”

Also, in the March 17 edition on pg. 3A, another article reads “$7 billion Kemper plant blows deadline after tubing leak.” They also say that now it’s unsure when it will be finished. The plant is three years behind schedule and didn’t meet the deadline of mid-March. “The utility says a month’s delay would cost it $25 million to $35 million. “Customers could be asked to pay another $20 million in interest and legal costs.”

So what do we do now? “We” being the customers of Mississippi Power Company. In reading the different articles about what is going on with this plant, one begs to wonder.

I tend to wonder if it is just complete ignorance, misappropriation of funds, mismanagement, or people who do not know what the heck they are doing.

Any way you cut it, the customers are the ones who will have to pay for this. So at a time in our economy when people are out of jobs, taking pay cuts and trying to get by, Mississippi Power and Southern Company are still trying to make this plant work, even with all its cost in overruns, delays, legal costs and interest. Give me a break.

Jeff Dow,

Carriere