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Alabama Power gets rate increase

The Public Service Commission approved a rate increase by Alabama Power on Tuesday, increasing the average homeowner’s power bill by as much as $15 per month.

The typical household will pay an additional $9.30 per 1,000-kilowat hours of usage, according to Alabama Power spokesperson Jan Ellis.

The monthly base charge for service was also increased from $8.90 to $14.50 and goes into effect in January.

The commission approved both measures separately by a vote of 3-0.

Ellis said the rate increase was needed because of increasing fuel costs. She said the base charge adjustment would cover daily operational costs.

“We have seen prices rise for materials across the board, including copper and steel,” said Ellis.

Ellis said some low-income residents who receive Supplemental Social Security or Medicaid would be exempt from the base charge, as well as the rate increase.

“Both increases will not adversely affect our lower-income customers,” said Ellis. “All that is needed is for those customers to come into one of our offices and complete the paperwork so that we can forward it to the appropriate government office for verification.”

Additionally, Alabama Power agreed not to seek a rate increase in 2009.

“We’re going to try and continue to cut costs,” said Ellis. “I can certainly empathize with our customers, and we are constantly trying to find a way to keep our prices down.”