Cold Weather Bites Consumers

By the start of next year, customers of Mississippi Power Company could expect to see at least a $3.49 increase in their electric bills. That's because the company has now asked the Public Service Commission to approve a 4.2 percent rate hike.

But Mississippi Power is not alone. Officials with the East Mississippi Electric Power Association say rates for their customers will likely also increase.

EMEPA's Mike Reich said the reason for the increase reaches even beyond our borders.

"There is worldwide pressure on energy resources from China, India, Europe even the United States," said Reich. "The market is really what drives energy prices and nobody can control that. And anything that is produced with energy or transported with energy is feeling those costs."

In turn the increasing costs for suppliers is now being passed down to consumers, even those who can least afford it. Jim Murphy says he's one of them. We found him Friday at Multi-County Community Service Agency, applying for a heater.

Murphy said the higher prices make things more difficult for him, but he'll just keep moving on.

MCCSA executive director Callie Cole said she's Are you expecting more calls for help this season.

"I understand they won't do this until January, but we know that we will be because some people are scuffling with it as it is," said Cole.

"We have cut costs everywhere we can cut costs, but we can't help it. I don't think the other energy generators can help it either," Reich said. "It's just, it's coming."

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