Alabama Power Plans 6.15 Percent Residential Rate Increase

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) - Starting Jan. 1st, Alabama Power Co. plans a 6.15 percent rate increase that's expected to boost the annual cost of electricity for a typical residential customer by $78.

The power company notified the Alabama Public Service Commission about the rate increase yesterday. Unless the PSC objects, which is not expected, the proposed rate increase will take effect Jan. 1st.

The average annual cost would rise from $1,275 to $1,353 for a residential customer who uses 1,000 kilowatt-hours of electricity each month. Utility officials say that's the median residential usage -- half of residential customers use more, half use less.

The average monthly bill would rise by $6.53 for 1,000 kilowatt-hours, from $106.21 to $112.74.

Alabama Power spokeswoman Carrie Kurlander says electric rates also would increase Jan. 1st by 6.02 percent for most businesses
and by 4.37 percent for large industrial customers.

The rate increases would boost Alabama Power's revenues by $255.2 million next year. That includes $146.54 million to pay for a rise in general operating expenses, such as buying supplies and paying employees, and $108.65 million to help pay for pollution-reduction equipment scheduled to start working this year.

Kurlander says there is no denying that the cost of business continues to rise. She says adjustments are needed to cover those costs.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)