Montgomery, Alabama – Today, the Alabama Public Service Commission, voted to extend rate measures aimed at helping revitalize local economies. The incentive program, offered by Alabama Power, has been in place since April of 2011. As of August of 2012, 77 customers have taken advantage of the program and realized a savings of approximately $188,000, collectively. Due to continued interest in the incentives, the Commission encouraged Alabama Power to offer an extension of the program.
“I am thrilled to extend these incentives. Helping small businesses helps Alabama families. That’s always been my number one goal. Going forward, I will continue to find ways to help folks save money on their utility bills,” said President Lucy Baxley.”
For small and medium size commercial customers, the Commission accepted Alabama Power’s proposal to extend a one-year 15% discount for any new accounts established at a location that has been unoccupied for at least 6 months. Such new accounts must represent new electric usage and cannot include moving from one location to another. The 15% discount will be applicable to the customer’s total electric usage and will be applied to the portion of a customer’s bill that is not fuel or tax related. This economic incentive will be extended by one year for service agreements that begin before December 31, 2013.
PSC Commissioner Twinkle Andress Cavanaugh said, “As a small business owner most of my life, I understand that every dime saved determines whether you can expand operations, hire more employees or even keep the door open one more day. I am committed to helping business owners cut overhead costs while incentivizing them to help get Alabamians back to work.”
For business customers who meet the Alabama Department of Revenue criteria for receiving Capital Investment Tax Credits, the Commission approved Alabama Power’s proposal to extend a two-year discount on their base electric bill. Qualifying customers will receive a 10 percent discount in year one and a 5 percent discount in year two. The discount will not apply to fuel-related charges or taxes. In order to qualify, the customer must satisfy certain capital investment and job creation thresholds, and add new electric usage of at least 1,000 KVA. The discounts will apply only to additional electric usage and will be extended for two years for service agreements that begin before December 31, 2015.
“We are beginning to see a steady increase in the number of businesses taking advantage of these rates,” Commissioner Terry Dunn said. “It has taken a while, but word is spreading now – particularly among small and midsize businesses – that the incentive rates are worth checking out.” Dunn, who worked with the company for several months to design the incentive discount offering, stressed on Tuesday that the incentive tariff is good for “both sides of the deal.”
“The company gets new load, rather than simply shifting load from one location to another and the customer gets a significant discount on power costs,” Dunn said. “And frankly, that’s what makes it smart: It is attractive to the buyer and the seller.” Commissioner Dunn noted, too, that “the additional load means we are spreading fixed costs over a larger base. I’m hopeful we will keep something like this in place indefinitely.”
These economic development incentives are intended to assist with the State’s economic recovery and promote job creation and business.