By Scott Mims

Published 10:12 am Monday, December 20, 2004

By Staff
Boone News Service
Alabama Power customers can expect their electricity rates to increase by about one percent starting in January.
The higher rates are due to a $2 billion environmental improvement plan to comply with stricter air regulations at generating plants.
The multi-year plan, which was approved by the Alabama Public Service Commission in October, will most likely increase rates about one percent per year over the next several years.
Next year the typical residential or commercial customer, using an average of about 1200 kilowatt-hours of energy per month, will pay nearly $1 more on their monthly bills.
Historically, however, Alabama Power rates continue to remain about 15 percent below the national level, Sznajderman said.
Sznajderman also stressed that the tighter state and federal regulations are requirements the company must comply with.
People will see improvements in air quality as stronger measures are taken in reducing pollutants statewide.
Once a year the company will present a five-year outlook to the Public Service Commission.
Sznajderman said the company will have very significant costs over the next six to seven years, which could possibly drop off after the wave of environmental improvements reaches a culmination point.