Alabama Power to seek rate increase

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, January 2, 2007

DEMOPOLIS &045; Alabama Power Co. plans to increase its rates 5.29 percent on Jan. 1, if the Public Service Commission approves the request at its Dec. 12 meeting.

Snelgrove said the cost is still 15 percent below the national average.

The increase would cost an extra $5.19 cents monthly for the average residential customer using about 1,000 kilowatt hours, power company spokesman Michael Sznajderman said.

Last year, the PSC approved three rate increases for the utility, including an environmental surcharge, for a total of nearly 12 percent.

Sznajderman said 4.76 percent of the Jan. 1 increase goes for routine increases in the cost of doing business. The remaining 0.53 percent will pay for improvements at power plants to meet environmental regulations.

Sznajderman said inflation, personnel costs, equipment and maintenance will cost more next year, Sznajderman said.

The PSC could object to the increase if it’s not justified by costs or other financial figures the utility is required to show. To justify the environmental surcharge, the utility must also show evidence of projects it is planning or has under way.

The general rate increase is expected to bring in $193 million in 2007. The environmental surcharge would give the company an additional $23 million. Both will go into effect Jan. 1 if the commission does not object.

The Associated Press contributed to this article.