The Mississippi Public Service Commission on Thursday approved a 15 percent rate increase to help pay for the gas-fired portion of the Kemper plant that is producing electricity.

According to a release for Mississippi Power:

Kemper rates will be reduced for residential customers by approximately $4.70 below the current interim rate increase for a residential customer using 1,000 kWh a month. This will be applied to bills beginning with the first billing cycle in January. (An 18 percent emergency interim rate was approved by the PSC after the Supreme Court threw out an earlier 18 percent increase that was based on the cost of the entire plant, which includes a gasifier that is supposed to convert lignite into syngas to fire the plant.)

Mississippi Power will credit back to customers the difference between the interim rates collected since August and the permanent rates in the agreement. This will result in an approximate average $22 one-time credit to residential customers bills within 90 days.

The company also is in the process of refunding the money collect under rate increase invalidated by the court.

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