Covering the expense of building the Kemper power plant could cost the average residential customer an additional $34-$37 a month under three proposals Mississippi Power submitted to the state Public Service Commission late Friday afternoon.
The Traditional Plan and Two-year Plan would spread the increased rates over two years. These plans are based on the Mississippi Supreme Court decision that Mississippi Power must refund the money collected from customers over the past two years. The 18 percent was approved by the PSC to pay for costs of the plant up front rather than once construction was complete.
The plan that Mississippi Power prefers would keep rates at current levels until the entire plant is complete, which Chief Executive Officer Ed Holland said is still expected in the first half of 2016. Rates then would increase about $6-$9 a month for the average residential customer, but this is contingent on the company not having to refund the 18 percent increase in rates customers have paid since 2013. It also would provide for issuing low-interest bonds to pay a portion of the Kemper costs once the facility is operating.