Georgia Power’s Long-Term Energy Plan Fails to Address Georgians’ High Energy Costs
Atlanta, GA—Georgia Power has filed its latest long-term plan for meeting Georgia’s future energy needs, which includes plans for coal retirements, yet fails to include meaningful investments in energy efficiency and affordable rooftop solar programs.
The filing officially kicks off the 2019 Integrated Resource Plan proceeding, a process that happens once every three years before the Georgia Public Service Commission (PSC). The proceeding will continue through the next several months, after which the PSC will issue a final decision regarding the types of resources Georgia Power will use to meet Georgia’s electricity needs for the next 20 years.
While proceedings in recent years have produced substantial clean energy breakthroughs, including money-saving solar investments that vaulted Georgia into the top ten of solar states, energy efficiency programs that would help struggling families save on their power bills have been largely ignored.
Past proceedings have also resulted in decisions costing customers billions of dollars, like the long-delayed, budget-busting Plant Vogtle expansion project.
The Southern Environmental Law Center plans to intervene in the proceedings on behalf of Georgia Interfaith Power and Light and Partnership for Southern Equity.
“This is another step away from coal and toward clean energy resources, and that’s all to the good, but there’s little in Georgia Power’s plan for folks struggling with high power bills,” said Kurt Ebersbach, Senior Attorney for the Southern Environmental Law Center. “Southern Company says it wants to get to low or no carbon by 2050, and yet it continues to ignore the energy saving measures that are the cheapest path to getting there. Georgia Power’s energy efficiency programs remain shamefully inadequate and its solar offerings do nothing to promote affordable access to rooftop solar—Georgia deserves better.”
“At a time when so many families across Georgia are struggling to stay on top of high bills, we cannot afford to continue down the same path where utility interests dictate our energy future,” said Nathaniel Smith, Chief Equity Officer at Partnership for Southern Equity. “We hope investments in cleaner choices that protect Georgians’ wallets will finally be given the weight they deserve.”
“Looking ahead to such a critical year for energy planning in Georgia, we have a moral obligation to address the impacts of high energy burden on Georgia communities,” said Rev. Kate McGregor Mosley, Executive Director of Georgia Interfaith Power and Light. “At the same time, Georgia has the potential to rise as a regional leader when it comes to our energy choices, generation and use. We would like to see Georgia Power commit to that leadership by prioritizing energy efficiency and solar programs that benefit all customers.”
About Southern Environmental Law Center: For more than 30 years, the Southern Environmental Law Center has used the power of the law to champion the environment of the Southeast. With over 80 attorneys and nine offices across the region, SELC is widely recognized as the Southeast’s foremost environmental organization and regional leader. SELC works on a full range of environmental issues to protect our natural resources and the health and well-being of all the people in our region. www.SouthernEnvironment.org
About Georgia Interfaith Power & Light: Georgia Interfaith Power & Light is a state-wide interfaith ministry that in response to climate change and environmental injustice engages communities of faith in stewardship of Creation through worship, education, and the sustainable generation and efficient use of energy. GIPL’s goal is to help people of faith recognize and fulfill their responsibility for the stewardship of creation. www.gipl.org
About Partnership for Southern Equity: The Partnership for Southern Equity (PSE) is an Atlanta-based nonprofit that advances policies and institutional actions that promote racial equity and shared prosperity for all in the growth of metropolitan Atlanta and the American South through an ecosystem-based model for multi-demographic engagement. www.psequity.org