Consumer Energy Update

June 10, 2010

IRP update – On May 19th, Georgia Watch witness Jay Hakes testified before the Georgia Public Service Commission (PSC) regarding Georgia Power Company’s 2010 Integrated Resource Plan filing.

Hakes said that Georgia Power’s residential and commercial energy efficiency programs were inadaquate. He characterized the company’s new homes program as suffering from “piddling incentives.”

His testimony also included a recommendation that the Commission adopt a standard included in the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007, which provides that, with respect to long-term planning, each electric utility must “adopt policies establishing cost-effective energy efficiency as a priority resource.”

From 1993-2000, Hakes was the presidentially-appointed Administrator of the Energy Information Administration, the independent statistical and analytical branch of the U.S. Department of Energy. In 2008, Hakes’ book, “A Declaration of Energy Independence,” which identifies strategies for improving national security, the economy, and the environment, was published by John Wiley & Sons.

The PSC will render a decision in the IRP proceeding at its regularly scheduled Administrative Session on July 6, 2010.

AGL rate case – On May 3rd, Atlanta Gas Light Company (AGL) filed a request for a $54 million dollar rate increase with the PSC. Georgia Watch plans to intervene in this case, so that it may fully participate in the hearings, which will be held in August, September and October of this year.

AGL is a “pipes only” natural gas distribution company which serves more than 1.5 million customers throughout Georgia. Natural gas marketers approved to operate in the state include AGL’s “base charges” on the bills the marketers issue to their customers. AGL’s request, if approved, would increase the typical residential customer’s natural gas bill by approximately three percent annually (approximately $3 dollars per month).

Georgia Power rate case – Georgia Power Company will file a rate case on July 1st. PSC Staff estimates that the company’s requested increase will be at least $800 million dollars, although the actual amount will not be known until the company files its requested increase and supporting testimony on July 1. Georgia Watch will intervene in the Georgia Power rate case, which will be heard before the PSC in three phases in October, November and December of this year.

Hired earlier this year, Clare is Georgia Watch’s senior counsel on rate cases before the Public Service Commission. She is a former PSC staff attorney and has spent nearly two decades working on consumer issues. Clare’s presence
at rate case hearings will undoubtedly mean more transparency and accountability at the commission.