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Kemper Coal Plant: Refund Coming Soon from Mississippi Power

JACKSON, Miss.- If you’re a Mississippi Power customer, you may be getting some money back in your pockets sooner rather than later. The Mississippi Public Service Commission met Tuesday to discuss the issue.

Many thought it would be decided Tuesday just how the refund will be distributed to customers, whether that be through a refund check or through credit. Public Service Commissioner Brandon Presley voted against the rate increase initially, and he’s anxious to get the money back to the Mississippi Power customers.

“Those who would like to see the checks go out this minute, nobody would want that quicker than me,” Presley said.

However, the board did vote 3-0 to roll back the rate, effective after the July 20th cycle.

The 18% rate increase, of course, came after the Public Service Commission approved it in 2013 to help fund the Kemper Coal Plant, which was improper procedure, because there are certain steps that need to be followed before they can give approval. The court order says they “should have determined prudency” before approving the power rate increase. The Kemper coal plant is not fully operational at this moment.

The commission ordered on Tuesday that the power company must develop a plan that will organize how customers will receive their refunds, whether it be by refund check or credit.

“I don’t think we need to be in the business of offering options,” Presley said. “We need to be in the business of telling how we want this to be done. It needs to be a refund check or it needs to be a credit. Period. There are no other options.”

Presley’s number one priority is getting the correct amount of money back in the customer’s pocket, but he doesn’t want to rush things and it result in cheating somebody out of their money.

“We’ve got to make sure that we get those dollars back to the people that paid it, and we don’t cheat anybody out of their five or six hundred dollars just because we’re trying to rush in to getting this done overnight,” Presley said.

The commission will meet again August 6th for a final ruling on the refund to the Mississippi Power customers.

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