Special to Atmore News
The typical Alabama Power residential customer will receive a $25 credit this month, following a decision over the summer by the Alabama Public Service Commission (PSC).
Commissioners approved the credit in August, with the benefits appearing on October bills. The credit is in addition to the 3 percent rate reduction customers received this year.
In all, customers are expected to receive about $300 million in benefits through 2020.
The October credit is a result of lower fuel expenses this year for generating electricity to serve Alabama Power customers. Cumulatively, customers will receive benefits totaling approximately $100 million from the fuel-related credit.
For a typical residential customer, the credit amounts to about $25 on this month’s bill. Customers who use more energy will receive larger credits.
The company has seen lower fuel prices during the COVID-19 pandemic. Fuel adjustments are typically calculated at the end of the year. Because of the pandemic’s impact on many Alabamians and Alabama businesses, Alabama Power proposed to the PSC that an adjustment be made earlier than normal.
“We know some customers are having a tough time. We hope this helps,” said Richard Hutto, Alabama Power vice president for Regulatory Affairs.
Customers have already been benefiting from the 3 percent rate reduction that took effect in January. The reduction was based on estimates indicating lower costs for fuel and other expenses in 2020. The rate reduction alone translates to about $4.50 per month, or $54 in savings for the typical residential customer this year.
Alabama Power’s total retail price is below the national average and has been for decades. When adjusted for inflation, the price customers pay for electricity is lower today than 30 years ago.
Alabama Power recently reopened its local business offices – including Atmore’s office – to serve customers, with additional safety measures because of the ongoing pandemic.