In 1972, my parents decided to upgrade our Gulfport home with central heat and air conditioning. Gone were the days of open windows and the attic fan to cool down.
The results included a very cool house with vivid memories of my dad running outside to see how fast the electric meter was spinning. That led him to push the thermostat north of 80 degrees and proclaim he couldn’t afford to pay $200 per month power bills. Putting this in context, gas was 36 cents per gallon, a Big Mac combo meal was under $2, and the price of a new car was less than $10,000. Examples, a 1972 Corvette started at $3,900 up to $5,300 and a Cadillac Eldorado Convertible was $7,500. Yet, I learned to complain about the price Mississippi Power charged for electricity.
Now, 45 years later, living in Pass Christian in a larger home at 73 degrees, I pay an average of $245 per month for electricity. A gallon of gas costs $2.40, you get change back from $7 on your Big Mac meal, and you can’t find a new car for less than $10,000. A 2017 Corvette ranges from $55,000 to $76,000 and a Cadillac CT6 from $54,690 to $84,790. Even with those numbers available, we still demonize Mississippi Power for costs.
Gas has gone up 600 percent, Big Mac meal 300 percent, automobiles 1,100 percent but electricity has risen 20 percent and Mississippi Power is the target of anger and ill will.