The Georgia Public Service Commission didn’t listen to the people at all and will raise our Georgia Power bills by approximately $16 per month over the next three years. Someone must think we don’t know how to add. Most news outlets latched on to the initial increase of only $3.60 which is much less than the proposed $14.90, but failed to elevate the full impact of the increased hikes in 2024 and 2025. While Georgia Power will not get most of the increased amount in the first year as initially proposed, by 2025 the overall monthly customer bill increase will be nearly the same amount as the original proposal.
Georgia Power will still be in a position to make RECORD profits while customers will be left with paying high bills.
What’s worse is that the PSC has shown that they are more interested in taking our money and putting it in the pockets of wealthy shareholders than protecting customers like they’re elected to do.
First, the PSC denied everyday Georgians and Georgia Power customers access to the hearing room and the opportunity to provide public comment. 21 Georgia Power customers across the state resisted the PSC’s shut-out attempt by filing to officially intervene in the rate case as separate individuals, forcing the PSC to allow residents to attend and speak against the rate increase.
It didn’t stop there.
Residents filled the hearing room for each set of proceedings to remind the commissioners of their responsibility to protect ratepayers from the imbalance of power that Georgia Power has as a for-profit monopoly. They spoke out against the proposed increase and request for higher returns on equity and they also advocated for an increase in energy efficiency programs.
Despite their comments and the sacrifices residents made to take part, the Public Service Commission voted today to accept every unfair request from Georgia Power. They raised electric bills on customers significantly, denied expansion of the Net Metering program that provided fair credit to customers with solar (there was a 4¢ increase to the avoided cost/buy-back amount), and raised prices on the Community Solar program to $24 per block.
Brace yourselves to see a hike in the bill you receive in February, but be advised: this will only be the first of many. Aside from the increase from today’s vote, there will be at least three additional increases over the next three years. The Public Interest Advocacy (“PIA”) Staff estimates that the average Georgia Power customer will pay $55-60 more per month for electricity in 2025, an approximately 45% increase on today’s average electric’s bills.
We must take a stand and let the PSC know that they will be held accountable for their BAD votes when elections are held for commissioners. It’s time we put their feet to the fire! At GCVEF, we are committed to affordable bills and the cleanest solutions possible. It’s not over and the fight continues. We’ll see you in 2023.