Georgia Power could raise rates over the next three years

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Published: May. 5, 2023 at 7:34 PM EDT
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ATLANTA, Ga. (Atlanta News First) - Georgia Power said the cost of electricity in fuel rose over the last several years and they’re filing for what’s called fuel cost recovery to offset their losses. With this, the company cannot make a profit.

In a statement to Atlanta News First, a Georgia Power Spokesperson shared, “The stipulated agreement reached with Georgia PSC PIA Staff recently, if approved by the Commission, provides for the recovery of these higher fuel prices paid by the company in recent years as well as projected fuel costs for the next two years. In this proposed resolution, we are helping balance these costs for customers by spreading them out over three years compared to the typical two years.

According to our revised estimates filed with the Georgia PSC on April 24, which reflect more recent natural gas prices, we have reduced the anticipated bill impact for the typical residential customer from a potential high of $23 dollars to approximately $15.90 per month.

At Georgia Power, we understand that energy costs are an important part of every family’s and business’ budget. That’s why we work every day to run our business efficiently, keep rates as affordable as possible and proactively take measures to protect customers from rising costs, including deploying the most cost-effective generation resources, increasing our Senior Citizen Discount and more.”

During this week’s meeting, Georgia Power presented evidence and ratepayers shared how this increase would place an extra burden on customers. Georgia Power ratepayers’ monthly bills already jumped once this year by roughly $4. One of the commissioners Bubba McDonald voted against that rate hike.

“There’s no free electricity and there’s no free gas somebody’s gonna be paying. It is very painful for anyone that is using natural gas, or even electricity to heat and cool and to be able to turn the lights on,” said McDonald.

Georgia Power provides Energy Assistance options based on your income and your age.

The Community Assistance Center in Sandy Springs offers utility assistance to Whitney Crockett and other clients. They said the number of their clients has nearly doubled.

Whitney Crockett is a single mom working to keep the lights on. She’s trying to stay afloat, but her bills just keep going up

“They will turn it off, to be honest with you that happened. We’re down to only paying for priorities there’s nothing left over,” said Crockett.

For her two-bedroom apartment, she’s paying roughly $300 dollars or more every month on her power bill. A family like hers that uses 1,000-kilowatt hours per month could see their bill go up by $15.90, nearly $200 annually.

Georgia Power shared that when it comes to assistance with bills, there are several options, “Georgia Power provides a variety of Energy Assistance options, starting with our income-qualified senior citizens discount. Customers 65 years of age or older with a combined income of 200% of the Federal Poverty level or less may qualify. We also help arrange free Energy Improvements for Income Qualified Seniors who can enjoy energy savings assistance through education and free home energy efficiency improvements. Georgia Power customers over the age of 60 and who are at or below 200% of the federal poverty guidelines may be able to qualify for participation. We also assist other customers in finding energy assistance, including such as through the Salvation Army’s Project Share, which we have supported for decades. We currently match $1.50 for every $1 given by donors and help connect customers in need with the program. In addition, there are currently 20 Community Action Agencies in Georgia, which serve all 159 counties throughout the state where we can help make connections for customers. The Federal, State and local resources currently managed by Community Action Agencies in Georgia include such services as Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), emergency assistance, home weatherization, and more.” said a Georgia Power Spokesperson.