Mississippi Senate Bill 2089 and House Bill 1139 – What it means for you
Coast Electric and other Mississippi electric cooperatives are supporting Mississippi Senate Bill 2089 and House Bill 1139. These bills seek to protect co-op members like you from increased government regulations and higher electric bills.
What are Senate Bill 2089 and House Bill 1139?
The bills are an update to the Electric Power Associations Act that was made law in 1936. The bills modernize and streamline language from the original Act, including an explanation of what a rate is.
Why is the update necessary?
Twenty years after the Electric Power Associations Act came into existence, the Public Service Commission (PSC) was formed to regulate three things for utilities: service territories, quality of service and rates. Co-op rates, however, were already regulated by the cooperative’s member-elected board of directors. Regulating rates for electric power associations has never been under the PSC’s authority.
Now, the PSC is attempting to define “rate” as just the kilowatt charge on your bills and regulate all other fees and charges.
Why is it better for Coast Electric’s Board of Directors to regulate our rates?
- For more than 75 years, Coast Electric rates have been regulated by men and women who are members of Coast Electric and who are democratically elected to do so by their fellow members. By having the very same people who pay the rate also regulate the rate, members can be sure they pay the lowest rate possible.
- Coast Electric is a not-for-profit cooperative that returns all costs over operating expenses to their members. More government regulations would mean higher costs for members of Coast Electric.
Important points to remember:
- The PSC will still have jurisdiction over how co-op territories are defined and quality of service issues.
- There is nothing in the bills that changes the way co-ops have successfully regulated rates for more than 75 years.
- Coast Electric is a not-for-profit association. These bills exist to modernize language that will protect our members from increased government regulation and higher costs.
- We need your help and want you to contact your elected officials.