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Power rates

MBJ Editorial I

A recent report issued by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Energy Information Administration (EIA) suggests that the possibility of electric power generation competition in Mississippi has resulted in a rate reduction for many of the state’s industrial power users. Since 1995, 30 of 48 utilities are charging manufacturers less.

However, Mississippi’s electric rates remain among the highest in the South, and industrial customers served by 41 of 48 of the state’s utilities pay more than the national average.

This situation begs the question: If the threat of competition has resulted in a rate reduction, what might actual competition bring? Could it mean a realignment in rates for Mississippi’s

residential, commercial and industrial power consumers?

Possibly. Our dynamic free-market economy is built upon competition, but due to the complexity and cost of the electric power generation infrastructure and the absolute necessity of this commodity, it has been imperative to slowly deliberate the merits of competition.

As Mississippi enters a new political era, the issue of electric power competition must be resolved. It is our hope that competition will be implemented, and the resulting innovation and investment will pay off for Mississippi’s businesses and industries.

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