Miss. Supreme Court refuses to reconsider Kemper ruling

The Mississippi Supreme Court has denied a request by Mississippi Power Co. and the Mississippi Public Service Commission that it reconsider its February ruling that invalidated the rate increases for the Kemper County coal plant.

Justices ruled 5-4 to deny the motion for rehearing.

In an opinion handed down February 12, the court ruled that the rate increases the Mississippi Public Service Commission approved via split vote for 2013 and 2014 be refunded. The utility, through the use of Construction Work in Progress funds, was allowed to recover $125 million via increased power bills in 2013, and $156 million in 2014. Rates jumped 15 percent in 2013, and another 3 percent in 2014. The court ordered PSC to mandate Mississippi Power refund that money. Justices also ordered the PSC to provide notice to Mississippi Power ratepayers before any proceedings in which rate increases were on the agenda. “The increased rates on 186,000 South Mississippi ratepayers fail to comport with the (Base Load) Act or, otherwise, with our law,” presiding justice Mike Randolph wrote in the majority opinion.