Regulators Approve Energy Efficiency Rules

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Jackson, Miss.

Mississippi electric and natural gas utilities will soon be paying for their customers to cut energy use.

The state Public Service Commission voted unanimously Thursday to adopt energy efficiency rules requiring all gas and electric companies with more than 25,000 customers to begin offering programs within six months.

Quick start plans could include energy audits, tuning customer heating and air conditioning systems, appliance and lighting rebates, weatherizing homes, and paying builders to make new homes and commercial structures more efficient.

Later, all utilities will have to file comprehensive efficiency plans. Utilities would be allowed to recover the costs of those plans by raising rates on all customers.

Commissioners say efficiency will save customers money by reducing the amount of power used, and cut the need for future new power plants.