Public service commission hikes mandatory fees for Georgia Power customers

The five-person committee that makes up Georgia’s Public Service Commission voted today to let Georgia Power impose higher mandatory fees on its customers. (© Rand Lines)

Today, the Georgia Public Service Commission issued a final order in Georgia Power’s 2019 rate case that will result in higher bills—and less control over them—for customers.

“Today’s decision adopts a settlement agreement not signed onto by any group representing Georgia Power’s 2.2 million residential customers,” says Kurt Ebersbach, senior attorney for the Southern Environmental Law Center. “While Georgia Power did not get everything it wanted, it’s disappointing that residential customers will now suffer additional financial burden and less control over their electric bills.”

This was the first rate case Georgia Power has filed in six years, and SELC intervened on behalf of Georgia Interfaith Power & Light, Southface Institute, and Vote Solar.

Throughout the six month-long proceedings, advocacy groups urged the Commission to reject Georgia Power’s proposed fee hike, arguing that it would be among the highest investor-owned utility fixed charges nationwide. They also warned that it would discourage investments in energy efficiency and solar, and disproportionately impact customers earning a lower or fixed income.

While Georgia Power did not get everything it wanted, it’s disappointing that residential customers will now suffer additional financial burden and less control over their electric bills.”

—Senior Attorney Kurt Ebersbach

Though the Commission rejected Georgia Power’s original proposal to increase fixed fees from $10 per month to $17.95 per month on customers’ monthly bills, it approved a $4 increase overall, with the first $2 increase in 2021 and another $2 increase in 2022. This raises the fee to $14 per month.

“Customers who earn a fixed or lower-income suffer the most from high electric bills, and allowing Georgia Power to increase mandatory fees only makes that burden even greater,” says Codi Norred, program director for Georgia Interfaith Power & Light. “Georgia Power could be doing much more to help its customers manage their energy costs, but instead is making it even more difficult.”

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