Tag Archives: salaries

Utilities levy an absurd tax upon the rest of their fellow-citizens –Adam Smith

What’s next door to Georgia Power, also a Southern Company, and raising rates on customers who are using less electricity? Alabama Power.

Rebecca Smith wrote for WSJ 21 March 2013, Return Rates for Utilities Get Harder Look

Households getting electricity from Alabama Power Co. are using 6% less than five years ago. But their monthly power bills still have increased by an average of 8%, partly because of a lucrative rate agreement that the utility brokered with state regulators 30 years ago.

“an absurd tax upon the rest of their fellow-citizens”
—Adam Smith

The deal allows Alabama Power, the state’s largest electric utility, to adjust its rates annually to maintain a return on equity, a measure of profit, of 13% to 14.5%. Now it is coming under fire from consumer advocates and one state utility commissioner, who argue that the utility’s profit levels are too high.

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VLCIA operating budget

Apparently VLCIA collects $3 million in tax revenues annually and pays about $368,000 in staff salaries and benefits, plus $125,000 in legal and accounting costs, as well as other items in general operations. This is according to VLCIA’s Operating Budget (FYE 30 June 2011), obtained by open records request in February 2011, and given to LAKE, the Lowndes Area Knowledge Exchange. Look for yourself; here it is in PDF and two different single-page forms.