Public Service Commission Report: PSC and Alabama Power Agree to Rate Reduction for Consumers

Public Service Commission Report: PSC and Alabama Power Agree to Rate Reduction for Consumers


From left to right: Administrative Law Judge John Garner, Commissioner Jeremy Oden, Commission President Twinkle Andress Cavanaugh and Commissioner Chris “Chip” Beeker.


On May 1, the Alabama REALTORS® Public Policy team attended the monthly Public Service Commission (PSC) meeting in Montgomery to monitor for any discussion potentially impacting the real estate industry and property owners. Affordable and sustainable energy was a primary focus of this month’s meeting, which can have an effect on the real estate industry and economic development in Alabama.

The PSC meeting was well attended as news of a proposed rate reduction from the Commission and Alabama Power was agreed upon. The rate reduction of five percent for the remainder of 2018 was made possible by President Trump’s Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. The typical ratepayer will see a reduction of more than nine dollars on monthly power bills beginning in July. Rate reductions are important to consumers and have an impact on business opportunities for the real estate industry.

The Commission heard from John Free, the Director of the Electricity Policy Division, in more detail about Alabama Power requesting authority from the Commission to establish a regulatory liability for the flow back of excess federal deferred income taxes as a result of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017. The total reduction will be $257 million for the final six months of the year with another $50 million in 2019. 

In other business, the Commission heard a report from Consumer Services Electric and Gas Inquiries.  According to the report, inquiries decreased to 59 in the month of April from 66 in March mainly due to warmer weather.  Consumer Services inquiries from Telecommunications was also down from 39 in March to 29 in April.


PSC Background

The PSC was formed in 1918 to regulate the railroad industry and has since evolved to regulate other utilities as well.  Today, the Commission regulates electricity, natural gas utilities, telecommunications, private waste water utilities and motor carrier supervision.  The Commission comprises three elected members: the president and two associate commissioners.  The PSC’s mission statement states that the Commission exists to “ensure a regulatory balance between regulated companies and consumers in order to provide consumers with safe, adequate and reliable services at rates that are equitable and economical.”

The AAR Public Policy team will continue to monitor the regulatory agencies in the Capitol for potential impact on REALTOR® members, the real estate industry and private property owners.