Miss. regulators look at utility profits

Utility regulators in Mississippi picked up the call of Louisiana’s Public Service Commission chairman and began investigating whether private electricity companies are making too much profit.

“The utility companies’ risks are as low as they have ever been,” said Brandon Presley, of Nettleton, Miss., the utility regulator representing northern Mississippi. He cited a couple of examples, such as customers reimbursing utility companies for repairing storm damages to the system and customers paying for electricity generation plants as they are built. Additionally, interest rates are lower than usual, making loans cheaper for the privately owned utility companies, he said.

“If the interest rates had gone up, you can bet the utility companies would be beating our door down to a higher return on equity,” said Presley, one of three elected members of the Mississippi Public Service Commission.

The Advocate
8/21/12