With temperatures in Mississippi expected to dip near freezing later this week, Mississippi Power is ready to meet the expected increase in demand. Since heating and cooling costs make up about 50 percent of a residential customer’s monthly bill, taking steps to keep the cold air out and warm air in will help save customers money.
Get ready for cooler weather with these energy-saving tips:
• Set the thermostat to 68 degrees. Each degree higher increases power use by approximately 4 percent.
• Make sure doors and windows are sealed properly. Adding insulation and weather stripping and sealing air leaks around vents and pipes will keep the cold air out.
• Keep the fireplace flue closed when the fireplace is not in use.
• Change the filter in your heating system once a month to improve the efficiency.
• Use electric space heaters with caution. Don’t leave space heaters unattended and keep them away from clothing, bedding and curtains.
The cooler weather is not expected to cause any outages. If an unexpected outage occurs, Mississippi Power crews will make repairs as quickly as possible. Customers can report and monitor outage repair progress on the Mississippi Power Outage Map.
Mississippi Power, a subsidiary of Southern Company (NYSE: SO), produces safe, reliable and environmentally responsible energy for nearly 187,000 customers in 23 southeast Mississippi counties. Mississippi Power ranked first in the Southeastern Electric Exchange’s 2016 Safety Performance Reports and is consistently recognized as an industry leader in reliability, customer service and safety. Visit our websites at www.mississippipower.com and www.mississippipowernews.com, like us on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ and YouTube.
Company asks Court to consider best interest of customers
Today Mississippi Power filed an application with the Mississippi Supreme Court asking the Court to grant a rehearing on its ruling last month regarding the state Public Service Commission’s rate case for the Kemper County energy facility.
“Because the Court action will result in higher rates and bills to customers, Mississippi Power is asking the Court to reconsider its decision,” Mississippi Power President and CEO Ed Holland said. “The company is committed to ensuring our customers are not hurt by this decision and that we do what is in their best interest.”
In the filing, Mississippi Power asserts:
•The PSC appropriately used its authority under the Mississippi Public Utility Act to establish fair and reasonable rates for Kemper, which the Court failed to address.
•The PSC and Legislature hold the authority to set rates, not the Supreme Court, which it has essentially done in its ruling.
•The company and the PSC complied with Mississippi law and the PSC’s rules concerning public notice of the rate proceedings regarding Kemper.
•The Court’s decision will require rate increases of 35-40 percent rather than the approximately 24 percent increase anticipated under the rate proposal considered by the PSC.
“If the Supreme Court ruling stands, our customers will see a substantial increase in rates,” Holland said. “We do not believe that was the Court’s intent.”
Mississippi Power has revised the Kemper County energy facility cost estimate by an additional $70 million pre-tax estimated probable loss for the fourth quarter of 2014.
The revised estimate was included in the December 2014 monthly status report filed with the state Public Service Commission and a Form 8-K filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
The revised estimate is due to costs related to operational readiness, start-up activities, fuel, completion of construction and construction support costs during start-up and the price of fuel.
“Mississippi Power is committed to the success of Kemper for the long-term benefit of its customers as well as for the benefit of the communities where we will operate,” Mississippi Power President and CEO Ed Holland said, adding that there are already more than 300 permanent employees located in the Kemper area, directly impacting the local economy, jobs growth and community efforts.
Customers will not pay anything above the limit agreed to by regulators.
The next major milestone for the facility is expected to be the first gasifier heat-up, currently scheduled for the spring of this year.
Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements
Certain information contained herein is forward-looking information based on current expectations and plans that involve risks and uncertainties. Forward-looking information includes, among other things, statements concerning the estimated cost and schedule for project milestones and the completion of construction and start-up of the Kemper County integrated gasification combined cycle project (the “Kemper IGCC”) and impacts on customer rates. Mississippi Power Company cautions that there are certain factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from the forward-looking information that has been provided. The reader is cautioned not to put undue reliance on this forward-looking information, which is not a guarantee of future performance and is subject to a number of uncertainties and other factors, many of which are outside the control of Mississippi Power Company; accordingly, there can be no assurance that such suggested results will be realized. The following factors, in addition to those discussed in Mississippi Power Company’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2013, and subsequent securities filings, could cause actual results to differ materially from management expectations as suggested by such forward-looking information: changes in tax and other laws and regulations to which Mississippi Power Company is subject as well as changes in application of existing laws and regulations; ability to control costs and avoid cost overruns during the development and construction of facilities, which include the development and construction of generating facilities with designs that have not been finalized or previously constructed, including changes in labor costs and productivity factors, adverse weather conditions, shortages and inconsistent quality of equipment, materials, and labor, contractor or supplier delay, non-performance under construction or other agreements, operational readiness, including specialized operator training and required site safety programs, unforeseen engineering or design problems, delays associated with start-up activities (including major equipment failure and system integration), and/or operational performance (including additional costs to satisfy any operational parameters ultimately adopted by the Mississippi Public Service Commission (“PSC”)); ability to construct facilities in accordance with the requirements of permits and licenses, to satisfy any environmental performance standards, and the requirements of tax credits and other incentives, and to integrate facilities into the Southern Company system upon completion of construction; advances in technology; actions related to cost recovery for the Kemper IGCC, including actions relating to proposed securitization, Mississippi PSC approval of Mississippi Power Company’s proposed rate recovery plan, as ultimately amended, which currently includes the ability to complete the proposed sale of an interest in the Kemper IGCC to South Mississippi Electric Power Association, the ability to utilize bonus depreciation, which currently requires that assets be placed in service in 2015, and satisfaction of requirements to utilize investment tax credits and grants; Mississippi PSC review of the prudence of Kemper IGCC costs; the outcome of any legal or regulatory proceedings regarding any settlement agreement between Mississippi Power Company and the Mississippi PSC, the March 2013 rate order approving retail rate increases consistent with the terms of the settlement agreement, or the State of Mississippi legislation designed to enhance the Mississippi PSC’s authority to facilitate development and construction of baseload generation in the State of Mississippi; and the ability of counterparties of Mississippi Power Company to make payments as and when due and to perform as required. Mississippi Power Company expressly disclaims any obligation to update any forward-looking information.
The promise of dramatically reducing carbon emissions and using the world’s most abundant type of coal for more energy production brought another group of international visitors to Kemper County.
Members of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation spent two days in east Mississippi to tour Mississippi Power’s Kemper County energy facility and hold a series of workshops primarily focused on Southern Company and Mississippi Power’s innovative carbon capture technology which is poised to be applied commercially next year when the Kemper County energy facility begins commercial operation.
“This technology can be very important for improving the environment in China,” said Pang Guanglian, secretary general and senior economist for the China Petroleum and Chemical Industry Federation.
Pang said China faces significant air quality challenges, particularly in Beijing. Guanglian was one of about 40 participants in the tour at Kemper. Along with China, the tour included representatives from the United States, Mexico, Japan and a host of Pacific Rim nations interested in not only Southern Company’s innovative carbon capture technology, but also its patented gasification process. The process – transport integrated gasification or TRIG – is the first in the world capable of turning low-grade, high-moisture coal into power, and use captured carbon for enhanced oil recovery.
“Many of these economies are seeing a decline in their oil production and some of these economies depend heavily on revenue from oil production, and the purpose of these meetings is both carbon management and energy security,” said Craig Hart, associate professor at Renmin University in China.
“China is both a producer and consumer of technology,” Hart continued. “So the ability to use, buy or partner with regard to technology would, for them, be a boon but also be beneficial for U.S. companies to be profitable and helpful to the broader societal goals in the long term.”
Despite the diversity of language and background, APEC Kemper workshop participants were linked by the common belief that technology can address the environmental challenges facing the globe, and ensure that readily available fuel sources, like lignite coal, can be used cleanly, responsibly and affordably.
Pamela Tomski, of the Global Carbon Capture and Storage Institute based in Australia said even on her third trip to Kemper, the facility continues to impress.
“It’s amazing,” Tomski declared. “It’s an engineering beauty. Everyone is looking at the Kemper plant. Mississippi has an opportunity to be showcased on the global stage. The whole world sees it as a first of its kind facility that’s going to set an example for the rest of the world on how to burn coal more cleanly and without CO2 emissions.”
Twinkling lights, decadent treats and new gadgets can brighten the holidays without running up the power bill. Mississippi Power’s 12 Days of Energy Savings offers cooking, decorating and gift giving tips to help customers make the most of their energy dollars this holiday season.
The complete list of Mississippi Power’s 12 Days of Energy Savings is available online along with 12 energy-saving recipes to enjoy this holiday season. Or customers can pick up a copy of the 12 Days of Energy Savings, while they last, at customer service offices in December.
Here are just a few examples ways to save this holiday season: Deck the halls with efficiencyUse LED lights indoors and outdoors. LED lights are use 70 percent less energy and are more resistant to breakage than traditional incandescent light strands. Give the gift of energy savings
Buy Energy Star electronics for instant savings. Depending on use, an Energy Star computer can save 30-65 percent more energy than a computer without this designation. Save time and energy in the kitchen
Turn off the oven and turn on the slow cooker for holiday meals. Compared to the oven, a slow cooker uses less energy, saving money and getting the cook out of the kitchen to enjoy family and friends.
Mississippi Power encourages customers to use energy wisely and save money year round. More details on energy saving programs and incentives are available at mississippipower.com/waystosave.
Since construction began in 2010, Mississippi Power’s Kemper County energy facility has ranked among Mississippi’s largest employers, providing jobs for up to 6,000 workers during peak construction and sustaining at least 12,000 direct and indirect jobs. The Kemper County facility also earns top honors for hiring military veterans.
At Kemper County, 20 percent of new hires have prior military service. Mississippi Power has always valued the diverse backgrounds and talents of the men and women who served in the military. In fact, 13 percent of all new hires to the company in 2014 have served in the military.
Mississippi Power’s parent company, Southern Company, ranks as the nation’s best utility for veterans, reservists and National Guard members. For the eighth consecutive year, G.I. Jobs has named Southern Company the highest-ranked utility in its annual Top 100 Military Friendly Employer® listing.
The Mississippi Public Service Commission approved funding for Mississippi Power’s Energy Efficiency programs which are designed to help customers reduce their bills and use energy wisely.
The approval allows Mississippi Power to move forward with new programs for residential customers such as HVAC tune-ups and in-home energy assessments, as well as ones aimed at savings for business and industrial customers including installation of energy efficient LED lighting for indoor or outdoor use.
“We want to help customers make the most of their energy dollars. These programs will provide opportunities for customers across the Mississippi Power service territory to improve energy efficiency in their homes and businesses,” said Customer Services Organization Vice President Jeff Franklin. “Whether it’s switching to energy saving CFLs, reviewing individual energy habits or taking advantage of low-interest financing to replace heating and cooling units, Mississippi Power’s programs will bring immediate value to customers.”
In July 2013, the PSC adopted the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Rule 29 that required all electric and gas utilities in Mississippi to offer more energy efficiency incentives to customers. The rule set standards for the programs offered and also allowed for the cost to implement the initiatives to be recovered by utilities.
Beginning in the December billing cycle, residential customers will see an increase of approximately $1.69 per 1,000 kWh. Small commercial and industrial customers will pay $0.504 per 1,000 kWh. Large commercial and industrial customers will pay $0.365 per 1,000 kWh.
The majority of the energy efficiency programs will begin in early December and continue through 2016.
“Each of the programs helps strengthen Mississippi Power’s commitment to providing solutions for customers and enhances energy savings programs already available,” Franklin said. “Last month we distributed 19,350 CFL bulbs to customers. If everyone uses those bulbs, they will save enough energy over the next year to power 54 homes for a year. That’s significant energy savings.”
Mississippi Power’s monthly Kemper County energy facility status report with the state Public Service Commission includes an additional $418 million pre-tax estimated probable loss for the third quarter of 2014 and an extension of the plant’s expected in-service date to the first half of 2016.
As previously announced, the company has been reviewing the schedule for the remainder of the project, including the gasifier and gas clean up facilities. Additional time is required for start-up activities and operational readiness, including enhancing the scope of specialized operator training.
“While it will take longer to complete the project, and the capital costs are higher than expected, Mississippi Power still believes in the team that is responsible for constructing and starting up the plant, along with the operations team currently running the combined cycle and training personnel for full operation of the gasification facility,” CEO Ed Holland said.
“These teams are working hard to bring this plant safely online for the benefit of Mississippi Power customers for decades to come,” he added.
Major construction on the project is “essentially complete” and the combined cycle portion of the plant has been in service since early August. The plant has been running at a capacity factor of 80 percent and has a reliability rate four times better than the industry average for combined cycles, Holland said.
The company continues to be committed to the long-term success of the project and the implications it has for coal use around the world. Last month, the top climate technology official for the United Nations toured the plant and said the project “gives hope” to developing countries.
Certain information contained herein is forward-looking information based on current expectations and plans that involve risks and uncertainties. Forward-looking information includes, among other things, statements concerning the cost and schedule for completion of the Kemper County energy facility.
Mississippi Power cautions that there are certain factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from the forward-looking information that has been provided. The reader is cautioned not to put undue reliance on this forward-looking information, which is not a guarantee of future performance and is subject to a number of uncertainties and other factors, many of which are outside the control of Mississippi Power; accordingly, there can be no assurance that such suggested results will be realized. The following factors, in addition to those discussed in Mississippi Power’s Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2013, and subsequent securities filings, could cause actual results to differ materially from management expectations as suggested by such forward-looking information: the impact of recent and future federal and state regulatory changes, as well as changes in application of existing laws and regulations; current and future litigation, regulatory investigations, proceedings, or inquiries; available sources and costs of fuels; state and federal rate regulations and the impact of pending and future rate cases and negotiations; ability to control costs and avoid cost overruns during the development and construction of facilities; ability to construct facilities in accordance with the requirements of permits and licenses to satisfy any operational and environmental performance standards and to integrate facilities into the Southern Company system upon completion of construction; advances in technology; actions related to cost recovery for the Kemper County energy facility and satisfaction of requirements to utilize investment tax credits and grants; Mississippi PSC review of the prudence of the Kemper County energy facility costs; the outcome of any legal or regulatory proceedings regarding any settlement agreement between Mississippi Power and the Mississippi PSC, the March 2013 rate order, or the State of Mississippi legislation designed to enhance the Mississippi PSC’s authority to facilitate development and construction of baseload generation in the State of Mississippi; and the ability of counterparties of Mississippi Power to make payments as and when due and to perform as required. Mississippi Power expressly disclaims any obligation to update any forward-looking information.
A simple light bulb swap can save energy and money. Next week, hundreds of Mississippi Power customers will be able to swap their less efficient incandescent bulbs with free high-efficiency compact florescent light bulbs.
Mississippi Power will give away up to 17,500 CFLs to customers throughout the service territory as part of the company’s new residential lighting program. CFLs use up to 75 percent less energy than traditional incandescent bulbs and last up to 10 times longer.
Customers can pick up one package of 10 compact florescent light bulbs during regular business hours at select bill payment offices Oct. 6 – 10.