Georgia Power recently filed a request with the Georgia Public Service Commission for approval that would enable the company to raise customer bills by 12 percent over the next three years to continue, in their words, making investments in strengthening and securing the electric grid, transforming its power generation to include cleaner and more economical energy resources and continue improving the customer experience. In their June 24th press release, Georgia Power claims that the average residential customer who uses 1,000 kilowatt hours per month would see an increase of $14.32 per month on their bill in 2023, $1.35 per month in 2024 and $0.62 per month in 2025, for a total increase of $16.29 over the three-year period.
However, according to reporting from Georgia Public Broadcasting, The Public Service Commission already approved plans for the company to increase rates by $3.78 a month as soon as the first of two new nuclear units being built at Plant Vogtle becomes operational. Georgia Power will likely file a request again in February of next year to recover the cost of the coal and natural gas it uses to fuel its power plants by raising bills even further in order to pay more for fuel. All of these factors can raise customer bills beyond the 12 percent Georgia Power claimed in their press release. So the company would potentially collect $2.8 billion over three years, in comparison to the $1.77 billion cumulative increase in the current proposed three-year rate plan.
Georgia Power claims that these proposed bill increases will help the company make improvements to the transmission and distribution grid, retire old coal plants and buy power from natural gas plants, solar and other sources, acquire electricity from new sources and upgrade customer-facing computer systems. Liz Coyle, executive director of Georgia Watch stated: “A significant number of Georgians already struggle to pay high electric bills, Georgia Power’s requested rate hike, if approved by the Georgia Public Service Commission, would create an even bigger burden on household budgets.”