Power bill proposal would raise rates

January 16, 2009

ATLANTA -- A state lawmaker wants to give Georgia Power Co. the ability to bill ratepayers for its investment in a nuclear plant expansion before construction even begins.

State Sen. Don Balfour plans to introduce legislation on Friday that will allow Georgia Power to start charging ratepayers right away for the $2 billion in interest on a $14 billion expansion at its Plant Vogtle site, near Augusta. If the bill passes, Georgia Power electric customers could pay about $1.32 more a month on their bills.

The consumer group Georgia Watch said the proposal saddles residents with costs of the project before they ever see a benefit.

But Balfour, a Snellville Republican, said it will save ratepayers money in the long term.

Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.

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