Regulatory agency holds first series of meetings on Alabama - WVTM-TV Birmingham, AL

Regulatory agency holds first series of meetings on Alabama

Regulatory agency holds first series of meetings on Alabama Power rates

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A state agency is reviewing the rates one of the state's largest utilities.

Starting Wednesday Alabama's Public Service Commission held it's first of three meetings focused on a number of issues concerning Alabama Power, most notably its rates.

Since 1982 the utility has been using the same rate formula, rate of return equity, with few public challenges to its structure.

The PSC, based in Montgomery regulates utilities in Alabama.

The large power company with its 1.4 million customers and the Public Service Commission have used the formula to determine how much customers pay for electricity.

Advocacy groups say, unlike in other states, the PSC and the utility use little public input on rate changes. However, Alabama Power says there is constant oversight of their rates, in fact, daily.

"We need is more transparency so that we understand ... how they're setting their rates, why they're setting them that way, why they have a guaranteed profit margin?" said Stacie Propst, Executive Director of Gasp." And if that profit margin is too large?"

"That formula is designed to keep rates stable and avoid sticker shock. And sudden price shock or fuel increases that would impact customers," said Ike Pigott, Alabama Power Spokesman. 

The Public Service Commission's next meeting regarding Alabama Power is June 18th at 9 a.m. in Montgomery.

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