BRANDON PRESLEY: Investor utilities’ profits seem too high

How much is too much? My main responsibility as a member of the Mississippi Public Service Commission is to ensure that the people and businesses of our state have safe, reliable utility service at the lowest reasonable cost and that the public interest receives firm protection by the PSC.

The duty to the public interest requires me to balance the revenue needs of utility companies to operate with the rates customers in our state pay for utility service. At times, the system of utility regulation gets out of balance with the scales tilting in the favor of the utilities to the detriment of the customers.

The PSC grants investor-owned utilities in Mississippi an opportunity to earn a profit on their investments at a rate set by the commission. That rate of profit is built into the charges customers pay for electricity, natural gas, some telephones, and water and wastewater services.

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