Factors Have Sent Electricity Bills Up

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Meridian, Miss. Electricity bills tend to go up during the summer, but this year it seems like they've gone even higher. Julie Boles with the East Mississippi Electric Power Association says the higher prices are partly due to the Kemper County Coal plant.

"This past April we had to implement the first rate increase to our customers as a result of the wholesale rate increase we have been given by Mississippi Power."

One Meridian resident has seen their power bill almost quadruple over the past three months, an amount they can't afford.

Curtis Green says, "Every month on our new electric bills, they're jacking the prices up more and more each month. Why should this bill be over $200 when it started out only around $80 (in May)."

Congressman Gregg Harper, who has toured the Kemper County plant twice, says that he's glad it's here, and believes that over time, it will be a good investment for the people of Mississippi.

"I don't think we'll know the real story on it for about 5 years, but when you look at volatility in different markets, you want to make sure that you have the ability to meet the energy needs of the citizens of your state."

There are several ways to try and reduce the amount of electricity you use, including turning off lights, and keeping the temperature on your air conditioning a few degrees higher, but there's one resource that many people don't know about.

"Lower your blinds and your shades so the sun's heat won't warm your home as well, small things like that. EMEPA also offers free home energy audits to our members."

Monthly power bills should go down during the Fall when the weather is cooler, before spiking again in the Winter.