Georgia Power customers concerned about another rate increase

Georgia Power customers concerned about another rate increase

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By Abby Kousouris, Atlanta News First

ATLANTA, Ga. (Atlanta News First) – Georgia Power announced that the third reactor at Plant Vogtle in Burke County has reached full capacity. During the next several months, the Georgia Public Service Commission will decide who will pay for the increase in costs for the project.

The first two reactors have been generating electricity for decades. The Georgia Public Service Commission approved two more in 2009. The cost of the third and fourth reactors was originally supposed to be $14 billion, but the projects are now on track to cost the owners close to $35 billion.

Robert Searfoss is concerned that Plant Vogtle will raise the cost of customers’ bills to a point they cannot pay.

“I don’t care if they’re taking 10 cents, it’s my money, my retirement money. The real costs of Vogtle have not even touched people yet,” said Searfoss.

It’s estimated Georgia Power customers could have to pay anywhere from nine to 14% more on their bill if the Georgia Public Service Commission approves Georgia Power’s request for customers to pay more for the project. That would cost the average household $400 more a year.

State lawmakers are getting involved. Representative Becky Evans sponsored a bipartisan resolution urging the Public Service Commission not to pass on the cost to consumers.

“Georgia Power customers should not have to pay that burden. Georgia Power shareholders should be paying that burden,” said Rep. Evans.

Liz Coyle with the advocacy group Georgia Watch said Georgians already have to make tough decisions.

“It causes people to have to choose between getting medicine, buying a new pair of athletic shoes for their child who plays high school basketball, or putting food on the table,” said Coyle.

The Georgia Public Service Commission will hold several meetings giving you a chance to voice your opinion before a decision is made.

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