Court rejects rehearing for Mississippi Power’s Kemper rate case

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The Mississippi Supreme Court on Thursday denied requests from Mississippi Power and the state Public Service Commission to rehear a case that directed the company to return the rate hike customers were charged to help build the Kemper County energy facility.

MS Power Photo 2 The case was brought by Thomas Blanton, who asked the court to invalidate the rate increase approved by Mississippi Power.

Court documents show the 15 percent increase in 2013 was designed to collect $125 million, and an additional 3 percent increase in 2014 escalating the rates to $156 million.

On a $100 monthly power bill, that was a rate increase of $15 a month from March 19 through Dec. 31, 2013, and an $18 increase for all of 2014 and the beginning of 2015.

In a 5-4 ruling in February, the Supreme Court said the rate increases for 186,000 customers in South Mississippi weren’t legal. The court said the Public Service Commission erred in granting the increase and directed the company to refund money and reset rates to the levels they were before the PSC approved the 2013 rate hike.

Photo: MS Power

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