Treasurer Lynn Fitch released the following statement upon
announcement that the Public Service Commission (PSC) approved an order
reducing to zero ($0.00) the System Restoration Charge (SRC) paid by
Mississippi Power Company ratepayers pursuant to Hurricane Katrina Electric
Utility Customer Relief and Electric Utility System Restoration Act of 2006.
“In 2006, in the wake of the devastation caused by Hurricane
Katrina, it was appropriate for the State to issue bonds to help Mississippi
Power ensure against damage to our energy grid and power outages, to be repaid
by a small monthly charge to its ratepayers.
“But ratepayers shouldn’t pay any more than is necessary to retire
these bonds. The action taken by the PSC
today and by the State Bond Commission in months to come will ensure that
ratepayers do not. Without this quick
action, ratepayers would have overpaid by an estimated $36.4 million.
“Furthermore, as I noted when we took similar action to retire
Entergy’s utility restoration bonds last year, every man, woman, and child is
saddled with a $1,707-share in state debt.
Every time we can clear one of these bonds off the books, we help
lighten the load, and that is a very good thing.
“It has been a real honor working with the members of the PSC and
with Mississippi Power Company to reduce utility bills for 186,000 ratepayers
in Southeastern Mississippi. Because of
this collaborative effort, not only will their bills be smaller, but the total
debt resting on the shoulders of Mississippi taxpayers will be smaller, too.”