Alabama Power Using Rate Increase to Improve Environment

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) - Alabama Power says part of its new five
percent rate increase will be used to help the environment by paying for upgrades at the company's six coal plants.

Starting January first, average residential customers using about one-thousand kilowatt hours will pay five dollars, 19 cents more a month, bringing Alabama Power an extra $193 million in 2007. But company officials say $23 million of that will be spent on making environmental upgrades at the coal-fired plants.

Spokesman Michael Sznajderman said Wednesday the funds will go toward installing more emissions control equipment. The six coal-fired plants are located near Bucks, Gadsden, Wilsonville, Parrish, West Jefferson and Demopolis.

He said the equipment will reduce emission rates for pollutants, including nitrogen oxide, mercury and sulfur dioxide.

Commissioners approved the rate hike Tuesday.

Last year, the PSC approved three rate increases for Alabama Power, including an environmental surcharge, for a total of nearly 12 percent.

Birmingham resident Harvey Henley, who often speaks up for consumer interests, said he's wary of any increases but feels one
for the environment is O-K.

(Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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