Some AL residents will see increases in 2019 power bills

350 Alabama Power employees left to get in place to provide aid after the storm passes....
350 Alabama Power employees left to get in place to provide aid after the storm passes. (Source: Alabama Power)
Updated: Jan. 2, 2019 at 6:44 PM CST
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MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - You may need to take more money out of your pocket for your power bill this year as Alabama Power said it has to follow federal mandates.

Alabama Power has more than one-million residential customers who will see an average increase of $4.49 each month if they produce 1,000 kilowatts of power. Michael Sznajderman, a spokesperson for Alabama Power, said this cost will vary with the amount of power used.

He said the company’s base rate and fuel-related costs will stay flat throughout the next year.

“The portion of the bill that is contributed to environmental and other government mandate costs, that portion of the bill will be going up,” Sznajderman said.

The company said the increase is due to federal regulations related to water and coal ash. He said they have invested $200 million in the past year to meet federal requirements.

To meet the standards, Alabama Power installed new water treatment facilities at some power plants and are handling coal ash differently. Coal ash is the byproduct of using coal as one of the sources of electricity.

“We are having to do a number of improvements at our power plants for changing the way we handle coal ash. The way we store coal ash. The way we process water that comes in contact with coal ash,” he said.

The company said in 2015 it would move forward in closing the coal ash ponds in the state. They are expecting all remaining coal ash ponds to stop receiving ash in the first quarter of 2019.

The process to permanently close the ponds could take seven to 10 years.

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