Alabama's utility regulatory board has approved a new rate plan for Alabama Power Co., but commissioners disagree on how it will affect customers.
The state Public Service Commission voted 2-1 Tuesday to base Alabama Power's rates on weighted cost of equity, rather than return on equity, which has been used for the last 31 years.
PSC President Twinkle Andress Cavanaugh says customers should see annual savings between $30 and $110, depending on their usage. Commissioner Jeremy Oden says residential customers and small businesses should save between $30 and $45 a year.
Alabama Power is defending its rate structure before the state's utility regulatory board.
Officials of Alabama Power told the Public Service Commission on Wednesday that its rates are below the national average. Officials said the total annual electric bill for the average Alabama home is above the national average because of hot, humid summers and because Alabamians tend to use more electricity and less of other energy sources, such as natural gas and fuel oil, than other Americans.
Republican state Rep. Jeremy Oden of Vinemont has asked Gov. Robert Bentley to appoint him to fill an unexpired term on the state Public Service Commission.
The term of Republican Commissioner Twinkle Andress Cavanaugh opened up Tuesday when she beat Democratic incumbent Lucy Baxley for president of the PSC. Cavanaugh was sworn into office Wednesday, leaving the final two years of her term open.
Alabama's last Democrat in statewide office, Lucy Baxley, is handing over the presidency of the Public Service Commission to Twinkle Andress Cavanaugh.
Cavanaugh polled about 55 percent of the vote against Baxley. She will be sworn into office at 9 a.m. Wednesday in Montgomery. The 74-year-old Baxley told fellow Democrats Tuesday night that this was her last race.