The Sun Herald reports: 

State utility regulators plan to decide Mississippi Power Co.’s request for an 18 percent rate increase on Aug. 13.

The three-member Public Service Commission set the next meeting Thursday, after taking testimony from company officials saying the unit of Atlanta-based Southern Co. urgently needs the additional $159 million a year. Mississippi Power wants the commission to raise rates on an interim basis, making the increase permanent after examining whether the company spent wisely on parts of the $6.2 billion Kemper County power plant already generating electricity.

The commission also approved Mississippi Power’s plan for $350 million in refunds of a previous Kemper-related rate increase that the state Supreme Court ruled was illegal. Customers will get bill credits unless they ask for a check. Commissioners ordered refunds completed by Dec. 4.

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