JACKSON, Miss.–The rate increase that Mississippi Power customers have had added to their light bills since 2013 will likely be refunded to customers after the state Supreme Court ruled Thursday that the state Public Service Commission acted improperly when authorizing the increase.
There were actually two increases: One in 2013, for 14 percent and one in 2014 for three percent. The increases were to help pay for the Kemper County Coal Plant.
The ruling was on a suit filed by Thomas Blanton, a former Public Service commissioner. The lawsuit by the Sierra Club was settled last year.
The court determined that the PSC should have conducted public “prudency hearings” before the three-member board arbitrarily allowed the increase. That means the Commission exceeded its authority under the law.
“Ratepayers should not be bound by decisions made by the Commission which do not comport with the laws of our State,” said part of the ruling.
You can read the entire document here: http://courts.ms.gov/Images/Opinions/CO101626.pdf
While the court did order a refund, it did not bar the PSC from holding hearings and properly approving another increase.