Georgia Power customers can get ready for a 12% rate hike

The new Unit 3 reactor at Plant Vogtle has started splitting atoms, a key step toward reaching commercial operation.
Published: Apr. 25, 2023 at 9:23 AM EDT
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AUGUSTA, Ga. - Georgia Power plans to boost electric bills by 12% in June to cover the higher costs of fuel – and that’s on top of a 2.5% increase last month and more ahead that will help pay for the new units at Plant Vogtle.

The utility filed new figures Monday saying it needs to collect an additional $6.6 billion from customers over the next three years, under an agreement it reached with Georgia Public Service Commission staff earlier this month. That increase is to pay for the rising costs of natural gas and coal to generate electricity.

Bill increases are stacking up for Georgia Power customers. Rates went up 2.5% last month in January after commissioners approved a three-year rate plan in December. Increases of 4.5% will follow in 2024 and 2025.

Customers will also have to pay the costs of the third and fourth nuclear units at Plant Vogtle near Waynesboro. Unit 3 is projected to begin operation in May or June, leading to a roughly $4 monthly increase for residential customers. A larger rate increase is likely to follow when Unit 4 begins operations, now projected before March 2024.

The rate hikes aren’t as high as they could have been.

Because of declining natural gas price forecasts, the extra money the utility needs is actually $1.1 billion less than Georgia Power had earlier projected.

The new hike will boost a typical residential bill to $147.50 a month, up $15.90 from the current $131.60. The increase had originally been predicted to be as high as $23.

The increase isn’t final yet. The five-member elected commission is scheduled to vote on fuel charges May 16. But any final plan is likely to closely track the agreement between the company and the staff.

Saving energy

If the news of rate hikes is too much to bear, consider some of these money-saving tips to help save money as the weather heats up:

  • Think thermostat – Heating and cooling costs make up nearly half of your average power bill. Set manual thermostats to 78 in the summer for peak efficiency and make the most of programmable thermostats, which help decrease energy use based on your lifestyle. If you’re going to be away from home for a long period of time, set your thermostat even higher, or turn it off completely.
  • Insulate – An attic insulation of R-30 will help achieve lower heating and cooling bills.
  • Seal ductwork – Leaky ductwork often accounts for 10-30% of total heating and cooling costs
  • Use your fans – A ceiling fan costs only about $1.50 a month to operate and will help you feel cooler without having to adjust your thermostat.
  • Clear air vents – To maintain consistent temperatures throughout your home, keep air vents and return-air registers clear of obstructions such as furniture, curtains and rugs.
  • Trim plants and change filters – To ensure your unit receives proper air flow, change filters once a month, or every three months for pleated filters and trim plants around your outside units.
  • Caulk and strip – Replace cracked or peeling caulk or weather stripping around doors and windows to save up to 10 percent on energy use.
  • Use blinds and curtains – Cover sun-facing windows with blinds or curtains to help limit direct sunlight and heat from entering your home.
  • Use double pane/storm windows – They provide additional insulation.
  • Unplug certain electronics – Electronics account for 5 percent to 10 percent of household electricity use. Save up to $100 a year by either using an advanced power strip or unplugging electronics when not in use.
  • HVAC system tune-up – Hire a technician to ensure your HVAC equipment is working properly and schedule an equipment tune-up if necessary.
  • Lighting – Customers can replace their incandescent bulbs with LED bulbs to use 90% less energy. Each bulb can save an average of $80 in electricity costs over its lifetime.
  • Recycle your refrigerator – By recycling a secondary refrigerator or freezer, customers can save an average of $125 in energy costs per year. By recycling an old refrigerator through Georgia Power’s program, customers can earn $35 and have their old refrigerator picked up for free. Visit to learn more.
  • Conduct a free, online energy checkup – Take a quick and easy online energy checkup that provides a customized energy usage report and ways to save money. Visit to get started.
  • Home Energy Improvement Program – The program helps customers reduce energy use, save on energy costs and improve the indoor air quality and comfort of their homes. Residential customers can earn rebates from Georgia Power for implementing and installing qualifying energy savings improvements.
  • Home Energy Efficiency Assistance Program – The program helps eligible income-qualified customers make free energy efficiency improvements in their single-family home. At no cost to the customer, a program contractor performs the recommended energy efficiency upgrades. Customers can learn more and apply at