MS PSC Docket Meeting On Short-term Extension of Disconnection Moratorium; Temporary Rate Reduction
JACKSON—The Mississippi Public Service Commission conducted the monthly docket meeting Tuesday to discuss pending matters on the docket. The meeting was held telephonically to comply with Executive Order 1466 and state and federal social distancing guidelines.
One of the agenda items taken up by the Commission was a review of the Order passed by the Commission on March 15 that temporarily suspended disconnections of certain utility services for 60 days, including water, sewer, electricity and natural gas services. The original action was taken in response to Governor Tate Reeves’s Declaration of a State of Emergency on March 14, 2020, and requests by the Mississippi State Department of Health and the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency regarding the pubic health emergency driven by the spread of COVID-19.
“As a result of work place closures and the need to maintain healthy home environments, the Commission recognized that any loss of essential utility services would challenge the abilty of families to safely shelter at home,” Commissioner Brent Bailey said. “However, as Mississippi’s economy begins to reopen, we must also allow utilities to take steps towards normal operations.”
“Today, the Commission voted to extend the suspension order until 5 pm on May 26, 2020, to allow customers this time to call their utility companies and work out any payment plans going forward,” Commissioner Bailey said. “While the public health emergency still reigns, the economic impacts for customers (recurring non-payment) and utilities (reduced revenues) have to be considered as well. This short-term extension should be framed as a transition period for consumers and utilities to work together to find amenable solutions to getting balances reduced and current in a timely fashion. We implore customers to take action and contact their utility companies to avoid disruption to their services following the expiration of this extension.”
Another matter taken up by the Commission includes the Interim Adjustment to the Energy Cost Recovery Factor for Entergy Mississippi customers due to falling natural gas prices and the reduced cost of generation that has led to an over-recovery of anticipated costs. The Interim Adjustment to the Energy Cost Recovery Factor was filed to become effective with June 2020 bills, for a period of four months through and including September 2020 bills.
“The Commission approving Entergy Mississippi’s proposed Interim Adjustment will result in a decrease of $9.71 per month for a typical residential customer using 1,000 kWhr,” Commissioner Bailey said. “This adjustment reduces the impacts of generally higher bills experienced during the summer months and provides advanced financial relief for customers experiencing economic hardship. I appreciate Entergy Mississippi filing this Interim Adjustment and temporarily reducing rates for its customers.”