The Mississippi Public Service Commission approved rate increases for Entergy and natural gas company CenterPoint Energy at its monthly meeting Thursday.
The three-member elected commission which regulates utility rates voted unanimously to allow CenterPoint, which serves more than seven million metered customers in eight states, to allow the company to collect an additional $2.9 million from its customers. This would add up to an additional $1.47 monthly increase for the average residential customer.
The reason for the increase is due to the need for capital improvement projects, software upgrades and an increased cost for steel.
The commission also approved an increase for Entergy, which sought the increase to compensate the company for increased ad valorem (property) taxes. The rate component on an average residential bill dealing with the utility's property taxes will increase from $1.58 monthly to $3.73.
Mississippi Power's integrated resource plan was also the subject of a commission order issued Thursday that stated the company should incorporate the recommendations from consultant Bates White (hired by the separate Public Utilities Staff) into its next IRP report, due in 2024.
These recommendations include:
- Incorporating retirement of generation capacity into its resource optimization analysis.
- Provide further detail on scenarios where the need for generation in the company's certificated service area continues to decline.
- Expand discussion and interpretation of how input assumptions and scenarios drive planning.
- Incorporate additional model scenarios, such as high customer load or high natural gas prices, into planning.
The PSC also approved contracts with Brunini Law and Baker Donelson for legal services to represent the commission at MISO regional meetings. The two firms replied to a request for procurement and the commission's approval means the agency can negotiate terms with both firms.
The commission also approved a request for Wilco Properties to operate a sewer system at the Grand Oaks subdivision in Oktibbeha County.