Business owners respond to Mississippi Power’s 9 percent hike

Published 7:00 am Friday, August 10, 2018

Electricity rates for all Mississippi Power Company customers will increase by about 9 percent starting next month.

According to coverage by the Associated Press, the Mississippi Public Service Commission approved Mississippi Power’s request for a general rate increase on Tuesday along with increases in environmental compliance costs.

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Mississippi Power Spokesperson Jeff Shepard said the company hasn’t had a base rate increase since 2013.

“The approvals we received on Tuesday will provide an infusion of resources that will allow us to continue providing safe and reliable energy to our customers and remain complaint with federal environmental regulations,” Shepard said.

Residential customers using 1,000-kilowatt hours of electricity monthly can expect their bill to increase from $128 to over $139, AP coverage states.

Shepard said that even with the increase, Mississippi Power’s rates are still less than the national average.

Local business owners receiving electricity from Mississippi Power have expressed concern that the increase could affect their operation, which may cause them to come up with cost-effective alternatives.

Tony Smith, owner of Stonewall’s BBQ in Picayune, said the increase will affect operation of his restaurant.

“Manufacturers and food distributors from whom we purchase our products will also increase their prices,” Smith said.

Smith said the change will cause him to evaluate his business’ current position. However he said those decisions will be made with the customers in mind.

Stop and Shop owner Kathryn Troglen believes the increase will cause a strain on her already struggling business.

Troglen said she might have to consider disconnecting other utilities to make ends meet and increase the price of the products she sells, she said.