After surviving winter storm, Mississippians now face surviving increase in utility bills

Published 6:48 am Thursday, February 25, 2021

After struggling to survive last week’s winter storm, many Mississippians will have to survive another oncoming storm — their power bill.

As residents across Mississippi finish thawing out after a week of ice and snow, many will be facing a steep increase in power and gas bills.

North District Commissioner for Mississippi Public Service Brandon Presley told WCBI in Columbus that the bills in Mississippi won’t be quite as high as they are in Texas.

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“We’re not going to see anything in our state like you’ve seen in Texas, where people are getting power bills for $20,000,” he said. “But there’s no doubt there’s going to be some increase.”

The increase is likely to put a financial strain on some households, especially those already experiencing financial trouble.

Presley said many residents and businesses were already struggling before the winter storm hit because of the pandemic. Rising electricity and gas prices only add their woes, Presley said.

The Public Service Commission says it is looking for solutions, including the low-income home energy assistance program and the internal donation programs run by electric cooperatives and many for-profit companies.

Presley says the Public Service Commission will also be comparing the costs of this storm against a typical February weather event to find ways to spread out the increased cost and soften the blow for Mississippi residents.

Presley says they are still very early in this process but said he already had a meeting with some natural gas companies scheduled for Tuesday afternoon.