Power Bills May Raise Temperature

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Hurricane Katrina has affected everything but your power bill, but then again, maybe it has. Many Mississippi power customers are opening their mailboxes to find a bigger bill than expected.

"There may be a little bit of an overlap between the time before the storm when we were able to read meters and send out bills. We didn't read any meters or send out bills during the storm," said Mississippi Power spokesman Kurt Brautigam.

Because of this, the utility has estimated what your bill would be.

"When we estimate bills, it's based on a customer's previous usage. We've got their history all the way back as long as they've been a customer. So on a typical August or September month for the past year or two or three or four, we can kind of just know what their typical usage would be and based on an estimate on that, and of course less the two weeks they were without power," Brautigam said.

This month's bill will not reflect the days without power because of Katrina, but in the end, Mississippi power will make sure it all evens out.

"When we've actually read the meter, then we'll get the true reading for whatever that two-month time period would be," said Brautigam. "Then true up whatever that difference would be. If it's a credit, we'll give that to the customer. If it's extra we'll charge that for the following month."

Mississippi Power customers who feel they have a problem with their bill are encouraged to call 1-800- 532-1502.