Rate Hike-Alabama Power

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Opponents of a proposed ten-point-six percent rate hike by Alabama Power say a seven percent hike is more reasonable to the company's 1.4 million customers.

At least one Public Service Commissioner, George Wallace Junior, agrees that a lower rate boost is in order.

The suggestion to lower the rate increase, which Alabama Power says is needed to offset rising fuel costs, came yesterday before a PSC hearing officer.

Alabama Power customers currently pay an energy cost recovery rate of $17.88 per 1,000 kilowatt-hours of electricity, a rate that has been in place since 1981.

If the rate hike is approved, customers will pay $26.50 for the same amount of kilowatt-hours beginning December 3.

The average Alabama household now pays $973 a year for power, and would go up an additional $103 dollars annually.

PSC chief attorney John Garner will review the proposal by November 23 and will make a suggestion to the commission.

PSC President Jim Sullivan and Commissioner Jan Cook have been unavailable for comment.