Power bills skyrocket for Ga. Power customers

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News 12 at 11 O'clock / Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Augusta, Ga. (WRDW) -- In the midst of a hot summer day, the sound of this a/c unit can be chilling.

"It will turn on before we leave by nine," said Deborah Watson, a Georgia Power customer.

But as the day goes on, she starts hearing a different sound.

Her power bill this month is more than $350. more than double of last months bill.

"We try to wash and dry the clothes when the sun goes down honestly, so that we don't run the dryer and heat the house up even more," she said.

Because the hotter it gets, the higher and higher her bill gets.

Another News 12 viewer showed us her bill too. This one...for more than $450 dollars. The month before, it was less than $200 dollars.

Georgia Power says it's partly because of the normal summer rate increase. But they also say, higher bills typically result from increased usage during summer months.

Last year, the company got approved for an $873 million dollars rate increase, which would cause power bills to rise about 8 bucks a month over the next three years...

Now, combine that with rising temperatures and your bill could sky rocket.

"Well the heat and air system is roughly 60 percent of your power consumption in your home," said Tony Duggan.

Duggan installs and repairs a/c units in the CSRA and is keeping his cool even though business is heating up.

"When we have these high temperatures, they want service and they want it quick," he said.

Duggan mainly repairs and cleans A/C units, but he's also trying to help lower power bills.

"Once we get to these 100 degree days, cutting it down to 60 is not going to do any better," said Duggan.

Keeping the sun out, and the cool in is how Deborah plans to handle her bill.

"We have blinds but you can still feel the heat," she said.

She's not sweating it, even though her wallet is.