Georgia Power Requests 12% Rate Rise Over Next 3 Years
Georgia Power consumers are left outraged after the company filed a request with the state Public Service Commission (PSC) to raise rates almost 12% over the next 3 years, with most of the change occurring in 2023. This rise in rates would increase the average homeowner’s power bill by a total of $16.29 per month. The beginning stages of this change would occur next year, as the company tacked an additional $14.32 onto homeowner’s bills, starting January 1, 2023. In 2024, an additional $1.35 would be added onto the monthly bills, and the final increase of $0.62 would be made
in 2025. According to Georgia Power officials, this raise in rate costs is necessary to fund the company to strengthen Georgia Power’s electric grid, and to add more renewable energy to its powergeneration abilities – both of which would improve customer service. Georgia Power Chairman, President, and CEO Chris Womack commented on this change. “It’s a real significant commitment to our infrastructure to make sure we are responding to our customers, as we move from coal to more gas and solar [power],” he remarked.
Womack says the company continued from page
is also seeking an 11% return on equity (ROE), as an increase of the 10.5% ROE which the PSC approved 3 years ago, during the last rate discussion. “We’re requesting to maintain the financial integrity of the company,” he explained. “That actually puts downward pressure on rates.”
Consumers are disgusted with this adjustment in rates. One local citizen, who has been a Georgia Power customer for over 30 years shared their thoughts. “People are really struggling,” the customer said. “Georgia Power needs to wait until our economy gets a little better to do this change.”
Another remarked, “We have no other alternative than Georgia Power for this service. They always increase the prices without cutting within to save money.”
“Just like with everything else, consumers are left having to choose what to pay for and what not to pay for,” one local Georgia Power customer explained. “Inflation and the cost of living is killing all consumers, even those of us who make decent money.”
One individual questioned why these measures needed to be taken in an already struggling economy, and said they could not understand why this was not an issue that could be addressed later. Several environmental and consumer advocate groups also were outspoken with their disapproval of the rise in rates, such as the consumer advocacy group, Georgia Watch. “Georgia Power’s customers already pay some of the highest electric bills in the country,” said Georgia Watch Executive Director Liz Coyle. “If the Public Service Commission approves this steep rate hike, it will add a significant burden to already stretched household budgets.” The PSC will hold hearings on the rate hike request later this year, and the decision will be made through a vote on the proposal in December.