The Mississippi Public Service Commission approved three rate cuts for the state's two investor-owned utilities at its monthly meeting Tuesday.
Under the regulated monopoly model, the two utilities can pass on increased costs, such as fuel and environmental compliance, to its customers if the PSC approves the request. Conversely, cost savings are also passed onto ratepayers. The two are also guaranteed an annual rate of return on their capital and other costs.
The three-member elected commission approved an agreement between Entergy Mississippi and the separate Public Utilities Staff that ended a temporary rate hike that started in April to cover some COVID-19 related costs and others related to the Choctaw County Generating Station, a natural gas-fueld plant acquired in 2019.
Entergy's rates for household customers will go from the present adjustment of $0.01733 per kilowatt hour hour back to $0.01595 per kilowatt hour.
In two rate cuts involving its environmental compliance plan and annual rate adjustment, Mississippi Power will reduce its rates by a total of $1.85 for a 1,000 kilowatt hour per month customer after the commission unanimously approved both agreements between the company and the staff.
The Gulfport-based utility, which is a subsidiary of the Atlanta-based Southern Company, had its temporary rate hike of $16 million (about $3.02 monthly per 10,000 kilowatt hour residential customer) reduced by 22 cents to $2.40 per 10,000 kilowatt hour monthly. The commission unanimously approved both requests and the new rates will go into effect in July.
The commission also unanimously approved the request of Great River LLC to operate as a public utility and receive the transfer property and assets so it can provide water service to parts of Adams, Forrest, Harrison, Lafayette, Panola, Tate and Yalobusha counties. The commission also approved the Great River's request to provide wastewater disposal in Adams, Desoto, Forrest, Hinds, Lafayette, Lamar, Lauderdale, Tate and Warren counties.