Most Expensive Electricity on Earth: $20/month Bill Increases Coming After Vogtle Units 3 & 4 Begin Commercial Operation, 7 Years Late and $21 Billion Over Budget

ATLANTA – MAY 30, 2024 – Will Georgia’s new reactors at Plant Vogtle be the last nuclear reactors ever completed in the United States? It’s a plausible outcome according to a new report, Plant Vogtle: the True Cost of Nuclear Power in the United States, released today by six prominent Georgia consumer groups. 

The new analysis details how the U.S. Department of Energy, Georgia Power, and the Georgia Public Service Commission (PSC), conspired to force Georgians into purchasing the most expensive electricity in the world, costing ratepayers $10,784 per kilowatt hour, compared to $900 – $1,500 per kilowatt hour for wind, solar, or natural gas. A separate analysis shows that ratepayers should expect a monthly electricity bill increase of $20 on average, more than double the Georgia Power disclosed estimate of $15 per month. 

The report was commissioned by six Georgia groups and co-authored by Patty Durand, former president of the Smart Energy Consumer Collaborative and a recent candidate for the Georgia PSC; Kim Scott, executive director of Georgia WAND; and Glenn Carroll, coordinator of Nuclear Watch South. The groups seek to warn officials in other states not to believe claims that nuclear energy is cost-competitive, required for clean energy, or necessary to meet large growth projections, claims that were made repeatedly to Georgians leading up to and throughout the project and will continue this Friday at the U.S. Department of Energy’s unveiling ceremony in Waynesboro, GA. 

Key findings in the report include:

  • Plant Vogtle will allow Georgia Power to expand its rate base, the assets on which they earn a guaranteed rate of return, by over $11 billion. Yet their share of Vogtle is 1,020 megawatts, making it the most expensive electricity in the world at $10,784/KW. Normal (wind, solar, natural gas) generation prices range from $1,000 to $1500/KW. 
  • Vogtle Units 3 & 4 took 15 years to build and cost $36.8 billion, more than twice the projected timeline and cost. 
  • Vogtle independent construction monitors documented that Georgia Power provided materially false cost estimates for at least ten years, falsehoods used to justify expanding Plant Vogtle. Similar false cost estimates sent South Carolina utility executives to jail for that state’s failed nuclear plant, which started construction at the same time as Plant Vogtle.

Patty Durand, report co-author, former president of the Smart Energy Consumer Collaborative and a recent candidate for the Georgia PSC, said: “If other states are paying any attention, the two new nuclear reactors at Plant Vogtle should be the last reactors ever built in the United States. They never should have been completed in the first place. Again and again, the Georgia Public Service Commission (PSC) was warned about the astronomical cost of these reactors and the financial toll it will bear on Georgians for decades to come. Commissioners repeatedly declined to protect ratepayers from cost overruns and ignored PSC staff recommendation to cancel the project. People went to prison for actions like this in South Carolina, yet we have had no accountability for the same, and worse, behavior here. 

Brionté McCorkle, report co-author and executive director of Georgia Conservation Voters, said: “Vogtle is a cautionary tale for the rest of the country. Here in Georgia, we’re stuck with the most expensive power ever produced, nothing to take pride in. Georgians deserve safe, clean and affordable energy, Vogtle is the opposite. Imagine all of the renewable power, battery storage and energy-efficiency investments we could have made in the time it took to build the two new reactors at Plant Vogtle at a fraction of the cost. Imagine what we could have done with the $35 billion dollars instead of dumping them in this radioactive money-pit. What a waste of time and valuable resources. Shame on Georgia Power. Shame on everyone who lined their pockets at the expense of Georgia’s future.” 

Kimberly Scott, report co-author and executive director of Georgia WAND, said: “Now that Vogtle’s new reactors are complete, Georgia Power ratepayers are stuck with the highest power bills in the US. So it is clear that Georgia Power is looking out for its own economic interests and are not concerned about moving Georgia to a clean-energy economy, let alone protecting the health of Georgians who live in and around nuclear power Plant Vogtle.”


Center for a Sustainable Coast

The Center for a Sustainable Coast uses science, media, and the law to defend, restore, and improve coastal Georgia’s environment and quality of life.

Concerned Ratepayers of Georgia

A consultancy working to ensure cost-effective electric rates for Georgia Power customers by conducting rigorous economic analyses of the utility’s capital expenditures.

Cool Planet Solutions

A consultancy that focuses on helping energy stakeholders such as utilities, commissions, and businesses understand residential consumer motivations, values and knowledge around energy.

GCV Education Fund

Georgia Conservation Voters Education Fund mobilizes Georgians to advance climate and environmental justice for a more just and sustainable future.

Georgia Wand

Georgia WAND (Women’s Actions for New Directions) Education Fund Inc. is a non-profit advocacy group focused on quality-of-life issues, health hazards resulting from nuclear energy and weapons, and social justice grounded in building racial equity.

Nuclear Watch South

Grassroots direct-action environmental group founded in 1977 to phase out nuclear power, promote conservation and renewable energies, abolish nuclear weapons, and promote ethical environmental radioactive waste management.